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Old 16.09.2011, 09:35
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Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

Hello,

This may be a long shot but I figured I would try. I am new to Zurich (two weeks) and will be joined by my wife and two young sons in early October from the US.

My younger son (almost 4 months old) was diagnosed with silent reflux and is on a very specific (and expensive ) formula called Neocate (this was after trying 3 or 4 different kinds of Similac's sensitive lines including Alimentum). Neocate is available in some countries outside the US, but for some reason not only can I not buy it in CH, no company (tried a dozen websites) will ship it here.

I have zero medical background, but have to imagine there is something similar here for infants with severe silent reflux. I checked a few other websites with message boards but can't seem to find anyone in our situation.

I am flying back to pick up my family in a few weeks, and will bring an empty suitcase and fill it with as much as I can and hope to obtain a note from our US pediatrician in case customs gives me a hard time...but that is obviously only a temporary fix.

Anyone here have any thoughts? Thanks in advance for your support.
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Old 16.09.2011, 10:05
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

Hi sorry if obvious but have you registered with a paediatrician yet? We recently moved to Basel from the UK with our 3 month old and registered her with the doctor last week, he was very good and thorough so I am sure you could find someone to prescribe something for your little one.

Hope you get it sorted soon!
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Old 16.09.2011, 10:12
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

You could contact Nutricia (the company who make Neocate) directly and see if they can help you. They have offices in Switzerland and most other European countries.

Is it available in France or Germany? maybe you could take a trip over the border to stock up if it is.

Do you know what is causing the reflux? As the other poster suggested it may be a good idea to ask a paediatrician here to see what alternatives there are in Switzerland and what they would recommend.
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Old 16.09.2011, 10:13
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

My daughter was on neocate to see if her eczema was related to formula, but that was in the UK. And thanks to the NHS it was free. My son had reflux when he was younger and what worked for him was the powdered Gaviscon designed for babies. We just added it to each bottle. Have you tried an added-on, rather than a completely separate formula? I don't know if that is available here but your best bet is to make an appointment to discuss with a doctor before they arrive.

http://www.babyreflux.co.uk/knowledg...nfant+Gaviscon
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Old 16.09.2011, 10:14
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

Thanks for the note, and no apologies necessary...I have not registered yet with a pediatrician because I was waiting to find out where we would live (signed the apartment contract yesterday...I am currently in temporary housing) and also my wife and kids are not yet here so wasn't sure if they had to be here before we could get registered (they don't yet have their permits from the immigration office, and it seems like that is the first step in many, many things here...).

I should start doing some research on pediatricians now that I know where we will be living...good idea.
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Old 16.09.2011, 10:20
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

Thanks, Belgianmum...I will contact the Neocate maker...good idea.

Thanks alao TitanTurbo...we have not tried add-on's...right before I left for CH in late August was when we first took my son to the GI specialist who put him on Neocate...I believe her next suggested step was something about the bacteria balance in his belly (the good kind of bacteria) and that there would be some sort of probiotic that we could give him to see if that helps his body correct itself.

My wife says he is definitely better in the day time, and some nights are better than others (only awake twice rather than every hour) so hopefully he is growing out of it and will be all better soon.
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Old 16.09.2011, 10:31
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

I am absolutely sure that you can get an equivalent to Neocate in Switzerland.

I'm pretty sure 'Neocate' is an 'elemental formula' - a prescription medicine rather than an 'over the counter' food - it's very expensive.

Info about the medicine is here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amino_acid-based_formula

I'm pretty sure that your Paediatrician can organise it for you. My other suggestion would be to simply walk into a pharmacy in Switzerland and ask - every pharmacist that I have spoken to around Zurich (about 10 different ones) all spoke English - just make sure you speak to the actual 'Pharmacist' and not the assistant staff. Usually the pharmacist is hanging around the back of the shop making the scripts...
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Old 16.09.2011, 10:35
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

I also wanted to chime in and say that if your child improves on Neocate then they quite likely have a cow's milk protein intolerance, probably a soy intolerance too. It's not just 'reflux' - you definitely should bring a letter from your current doctor, and see a Paediatrician ASAP. I'm sure you can make an appointment with the Paed even before the baby arrives, and you will probably find them helpful over the phone...they at least can tell you what the steps are to have your baby seen by a doctor as soon as they arrive, and to transfer their medical needs across.

If it helps any, we brought my son over from Australia and he has coeliac disease plus type 1 diabetes, and it was very straightforward to get him onto the system at the kids hospital and in fact the local Paediatrician rarely sees him, because he sees the hospital so often anyway...
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Old 16.09.2011, 10:40
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

Thanks, Swisspea for your suggestions. I will both find and call a pediatrician as well as walk into a pharmacist and have a chat and get their thoughts...both excellent suggestions! And sorry to hear about your son...hopefully he will continue to be on the up and up and glad to hear he is receiving great care here.
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Old 16.09.2011, 10:44
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

Neocate - is a hypoallergenic formula : means the the protein are broken down into smaller chains of amino acids and is easier for digestion and usually give to babies with allergies.

Reflux is usually controlled by have LBG in the formula, which is a thickener

You can get similar formula's in the Swiss market. As suggest you can check with your doctor here.

However if you prefer Neocate and cannot manage to get it here let me know and I will help you out.
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Old 16.09.2011, 10:45
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

You're very welcome. We find the level of care he recieves here is first-class and we are just grateful that we can afford to keep him healthy. He sees the professor at the hospital - considered to be the top expert in the world when it comes to insulins and diabetes management for children!
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Old 16.09.2011, 11:13
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

Hello

We used this swiss brand:

http://www.aptamil.de/apt/de/unserep...etails_704.jsp

sorry page in german.

ps. you can buy it in Germany at 1/2 the CHF price.
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Old 16.09.2011, 11:13
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

My son was prescribed a formula here from Nestle that seemed to help with the reflux and red bottom that he was getting from the usual ones. After one tin of that at 20 sfr for a small tin we tried a Bimbosan (a Swiss brand) soy based formula that stopped his reflux.
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Old 16.09.2011, 12:04
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

The Anti-reflux formula is not the same as 'elemental' formula... I would not suggest trying any of them without speaking to the pharmacist/doctor first...
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Old 16.09.2011, 13:04
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

Quote:
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The Anti-reflux formula is not the same as 'elemental' formula... I would not suggest trying any of them without speaking to the pharmacist/doctor first...
I agree with Swisspea here. It depends really why the American paediatrician prescribed the Neocate as it's primary use is for cow's milk allergies and not just reflux . It's not a good idea to change any infant formula without consulting a doctor. A baby's health is far too important to risk messing about with their nutrition. A lot of the specialised formula are only available on prescription for a very good reason so that unqualified people don't just use them willy nilly because they 'think' their baby has reflux or allergy or whatever.

Would it be possible to get a letter from the American doctor for you to take along to a paediatician here so that they have all the details of your son's condition and treatment. They would be in a better position to advise you then.

Good luck with the move and getting your family over here safely.
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Old 16.09.2011, 13:28
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Re: Infant with slient reflux, can't buy US doctor prescribed formula in CH...

Thank you all again for your feedback. I wish I had all of the details, I will get them when I speak with my wife later today so I can be more accurate. I am in a difficult spot being on another continent while she is back in the US...only so much I can remember from the few minutes a day we speak about how each other is doing. As I said, the GI we saw right before I left did suggest Neocate and she also said she did not think he has reflux so perhaps my initial post was inaccurately titled. Between me getting everything ready and settled in CH, and my wife caring for the two boys in the US, both of us have had a challenging few weeks. But all worthwhile obviously!

My older son did have reflux (diagnosed when he was 4 months) which when we saw similar symptoms early on with my second son, that was the initial path we took per the pediatrician...but the symptoms ended up never really fading which is how we ended up with the GI. Not really sure what the younger one has now...but nonetheless, we will get his medical records and notes from US doctors and have them when we do initial check ups here in CH.

Danka!
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