Gentle Remedies: Treating Formula-Induced Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Gentle remedies: treating formula-induced necrotizing enterocolitis.

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Formula-induced necrotizing enterocolitis (FI NEC) is a devastating condition that can occur in premature infants who are fed cow-milk-based formula. The infection rate of FI NEC has been increasing in recent years, and there is no known cure. However, there are a number of treatment options that can be used to ease the complication that come with this condition and improve the prognosis of the infants affected.

A vast majority of NEC cases are directly correlated with Similac and Enfamil formulas. Their products have caused considerable damage to a number of infants and their families. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is taking the lead in a class-action lawsuit against these companies for the hardships that affected families have experienced. If you choose to file a lawsuit against the formula companies, you can use the compensation from the settlement to pay for the expenses that you incur from your infant’s medical care.

NEC can be managed with careful treatment; it’s a case-by-case experience. What works for other infants may not be as helpful to yours. Work with your doctor and make sure that you stay updated on your infant’s condition to ensure the best possible care.

Some of the most common treatments for FI NEC include antibiotics, feeding via a nasogastric tube, and total parenteral nutrition. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary to remove necrotic tissue from the intestine.


The most common antibiotics used in NEC treatment are ampicillin, gentamicin, and metronidazole. They help clear the infection and reduce inflammation. These drugs are administered through IV drips or catheters. The dosages are given on an as-needed basis.

Your child’s care provider will monitor their progress, checking regularly to see if the medication has brought down some of the gastrointestinal inflammation or elucidated the infection from the affected areas of the digestive system.

Feeding via a nasogastric tube

Though this method of nutrition doesn’t directly contribute to the treatment of NEC, it is the recommended alternative feeding method. The process of nourishing your child through traditional breast or bottle feeding can put stress on the baby. This is especially prevalent in premature infants.

In cases of severe FI NEC, feeding may need to be done via a nasogastric tube until the infant is able to take food by mouth. This will allow the intestine time to heal without having to put any taxing effort into digesting the nutrients the body needs.

Since there is no definitive cure for this condition, the goal in each case is to ease any pain or discomfort and allow the body to heal from the trauma that’s been inflicted.

Parental nutrition

Parenteral nutrition is a method of feeding that bypasses the digestive system altogether. This treatment option can be used for babies who are seriously ill and cannot handle regular feedings or parenteral nutrition via nasogastric tube.

It typically involves taking dextrose, amino acids, fat emulsions, water, vitamins, and minerals intravenously. This provides the nutrients that the baby needs to grow and heal.

Parenteral nutrition is the last resort treatment for NEC, but it can be very effective in providing the sustenance that the infant needs.


In some cases, surgery may also be necessary to remove necrotic tissue from the intestine. This is done by making a small incision in the abdomen and removing any dead or dying tissue. The goal of surgery is to stop the progression of the necrosis and save as much of the intestine as possible. In some cases, entire segments of the intestine may need to be removed.

If your child’s doctor feels that this is the best course of action, they will discuss it with you and provide all of the information that you need to make an informed decision about your infant’s care. There are several effective treatments that can be implemented to greatly improve your infant’s condition. In addition to these remedies, there are ways to protect your child from contracting NEC.

Not every formula contains cow-based milk. There are soy-based, non-dairy options, as well as hypoallergenic formulas that do not contain milk proteins, lactose, or soy. Research these options to see if they could be a good fit for you.

You can exclusively feed your child human milk. Human milk is easier to digest than formula and causes less inflammation in an underdeveloped digestive system. Human milk also provides nutrients and antibodies there are incredibly helpful to an infant’s overall health.

Premature infants who develop NEC have quite the challenge ahead of them. The hardship puts a strain on the family involved as well as the infant affected but, with careful and diligent treatment, a full recovery is possible. There is still much to learn about this devastating condition through continued research and advances in neonatal care.

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