Gaviscon Infant: Uses and Doses

This page answers these questions on Gaviscon Infant and Gaviscon Advance, common medications used for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux:

To read more on gastroesophageal reflux, click here.

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What is Gaviscon?

Gavsicon is a medicine made out of seaweed products, called alginates.

Gaviscon Infant contains sodium alginate and magnesium alginate. This is used in babies with gastroesophageal reflux. Read more on reflux.

Gaviscon Advance contains sodium alginate and potassium bicarbonate. It is generally used in children older than 2 years of age.

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How does Gaviscon work?

When the alginates in Gaviscon reach the stomach, they mix with the stomach acid to make a gel. This gel floats on top of the milk in the stomach covering it so it is less likely to reflux back up the esophagus. So this means your baby is less likely to vomit.

Gaviscon is used in the management of babies and toddlers who have gastroesophageal reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

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What is the dose of Gaviscon in babies?

Gaviscon Infant

The Gaviscon Infant "dose" is half one sachet. It's important not to get confused and think that one sachet is the same as one "dose".

In babies the dose you can give is:

  • Babies under 4.5 kg - 1 "dose" (1/2 sachet) mixed with feeds up to 6 doses in 24 hours
  • Babies over 4.5 kg - 2 "doses" (1 sachet) mixed with feeds up to 6 doses in 24 hours

If you find that this doesn't work, try mixing the dose with water and giving after a feed.

It is important that you don't give more than 6 doses in a 24 hour period as Gaviscon contains salt (sodium) and giving more than the recommended doses above could cause high sodium (salt) levels in your baby and this can be dangerous.

Do not give a dose if you have already given a dose within the last 2 hours unless you baby vomited within 30 minutes of the dose.

Gaviscon Advance

For older children, the dose is:

  • Children over 2 years - 2.5 - 5ml of Gaviscon Advance after meals and at bedtime

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How do I give Gaviscon if I am breast-feeding?

If you are breast-feeding, mix the dose you are going to use into a paste with 5 ml of water (which has been boiled and then cooled) and then add a further 10 ml and then give it at the end of the feed.

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What if my baby vomits the Gaviscon?

If your baby has vomited the Gaviscon, you can repeat the dose as long as he vomited less than 30 minutes after the dose was given. If he vomited more than 30 minutes after the dose, wait until the next feed.

Do not give a dose of Gaviscon until at least 2 hours after the last dose (unless he vomited within 30 minutes).

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Should I store the Gaviscon in the fridge?

No. Keep the Gaviscon in a cool, dark place like a cupboard.

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What are the side effects of Gaviscon?

  • Gaviscon can cause abdominal distension (tummy swelling) in some babies.
  • Some babies can get consipated with Gaviscon. To read more on baby constipation, click here

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Are there any contra-indications to giving Gaviscon?

Do not give Gaviscon in the following circumstances:

  • preterm babies
  • any condition that may cause excessive water loss, for example: fever (over 38 degrees C), vomiting more than usual, diarrhea or very hot room temperature
  • when there is bowel obstruction
  • when other thickening agents are being used in the feeds, including anti-reflux formulas

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References

  • BNF for Children. 2010-2011. BMJ Group.

To the top of the page, click here

To go to the Gastroesophageal Reflux Page, click here

To go to the GERD (reflux disease) page, click here

To go to the Vomiting page, click here

To return to the Home page, click here


Last reviewed 17 June 2011

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Dr Maud MD

Dr Maud MD (MBChB, FRACP, FRCPCH), a specialist pediatrician, provides health information and medical advice for parents of babies and toddlers. Read more about Dr Maud.



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