Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Peta | 2009/03/17


Similac Alimentum vs Isomil

I have a 5 1/2 month old boy (6.8kg) who has been diagnosed with major allergy to cows milk (dairy) at 2 months. Due to an error, he was given the wrong formula a while ago and landed up in icu with anaphylactic shock at 2 months. His normal formula was isomil but he was given the wrong formula.

However, he was hospitalised 10 days ago for pneumonia - the second time since Dec with 2 bouts of bronchiolitis between. He recovered well from the pneumonia but then stopped drinking - from 900ml + a day to less than 300ml, almost no formula.

He was admitted again to hospital and the paed changed him to Similac Alimentum. Which he is drinking like there is no tomorrow! He is polishing off 150ml with ease...

Now the paed is talking about changing him back to the isomil after 2-3 tins of the Similac. Do you think that is wise? I am nervous that he will stop drinking again. Is there a reason - other than cost - why a paed wouldnt keep him on this formula? And what would he drink after 12 months, as this formula is only for birth - 12 months?

Also, i chatted to my paed about an epipen but he doesnt think it is necessary - how long do i have from the time my child swallows something dairy until he goes into shock again to get him to hospital to prevent him going into shock and possibly dieing?

Thank you

Expert's Reply



I would strongly advise you to keep your baby on the Alimentum formula. It is ideal for babies who are allergic to cow's milk. He must not go back onto the Isomil. It is the cost of the Similac which is probably worrying your paediatrician. When he gets to 12 months write in again and we will discuss the way forward.As your baby has actually had an anaphylactic episode he is at great risk of another episode if he has the tiniest amount of milk or any dairy product. If he accidently has any contact with milk you must give him Zyrtec syrup 1.25ml immediately by mouth. Carry this medicine with you at all times. Your baby is a bit young to use the Epipen junior now even though this would normally be advised for children who have had an anaphylactic episode. The needle is rather large and the dose of adrenaline is a bit high for him now. He will need one when he gets to 1 year of age. It is essential that your baby is seen and managed by a paediatric allergist. Please write to me if you are unable to locate an expert in your area.

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Posted by: Peta | 2009/03/17

I forgot to add that he has alot of mucous on his chest and a blocked nose since Dec although we have tried every nasal spray / nose drops / singular sprinkles / cough medicines etc known to man through the paed and nothing has worked to get rid of it. However, since being on Similac is seems to be better. We did test him for allergy to soy and there was none but could he have an intolerance then to soya?

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