* Symptoms to Watch for
* Advice for Parents and Caregivers
* What FDA Is Doing
Do not feed the thickening product called SimplyThick to infants born before 37 weeks because it may cause a life-threatening condition.
This advice to parents, caregivers, and health care providers from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is based on reports of infants with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in which tissue in the intestines becomes inflamed and dies.
SimplyThick is a brand of thickening agentâ€”available to consumers and medical centersâ€”to help manage swallowing difficulties. It is sold in packets of individual servings and in 64-ounce dispenser bottles. The product can be purchased from distributors and local pharmacies throughout the United States.
Benson M. Silverman, M.D., director of FDAâ€™s Infant Formula and Medical Foods Staffâ€”himself a neonatologistâ€”explains that the thickening agent is added to infantsâ€™ formula to help the premature babies swallow their food and keep it down, without spitting up. The product is also used in older children and adults with swallowing problems caused by trauma to the throat, he notes.
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