I really hate how the pharmaceutical industry has led to labeling everything a disease. Gastroespohageal reflux is not necessarily a "disease". And most babies who spit up are not suffering from anything other than an immature digestive tract. But the minute spitting up is labeled a disease, parents demand pharmacologic treatment. In my practice I see far too many very young infants being given PPIs like omeprazole or lansoprazole for symptoms that are inconvenient but not dangerous. The only children who require treatment are those who aren't growing appropriately or who have proven aspiration. By treating them with drugs that were never tested on children but which are known to have serious side effects (neuropsychiatric disorders, osteoporosis, reduction of nutrient absorption - especially Fe, Mg, Ca and B12, alteration in metabolism of other drugs, increased risk of pneumonia and C. diff, increased incidence of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and renal effects) we're creating a slew of new problems. When I first started my nursing career, I worked with prems, many of whom were on cisapride for GER. Cisapride was removed from the US market altogether around the time I left the neonatal work due to its association with torsades de pointes. Even domperidone isn't without concern: it penetrates the immature blood-brain barrier and it causes prolonged QT. Since infants are at very low risk for Barrett's esophagus or diabetic gastroparesis, the main reasons for treating adults with severe GER, I don't see a role for pharmacologic treatment for most babies.
It's interesting that you brought this subject up now. This article appeared in Medscape Pediatrics this week and tackles the issue quite well. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/827265_3
The authors give a very nice script for talking to parents about why it would be better to just do more laundry.