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Infantile colic is one of the most common ailments that affect around 10%-30% of infants across the world. Despite extensive research and exorbitant scientific and financial investments, effective treatment options for infantile colic are limited. The various proposed management options for infantile colic include:
Drug therapies:
Anticholinergic drugs like cimetropium and dicyclomine are shown to have reduced crying, but they are known to have potential dangerous adverse effects like drowsiness, apnoeas and coma. These drugs are not prescribed to infants below 6 months of age. Another drug, simethicone, an anti-flatulence agent, is marked to be ineffective in treating colic despite being widespread in use. Proton pump inhibitors are proven to be ineffective. Evidence relates PPI use to an increased risk of infections, subsequently limiting their use in managing colic. Also, there have been no studies evaluating the effect of gripe water on colic.
Non-drug therapies:
A number of non-drug therapies have been tried but have not been studied rigorously. Some of them have been proven to be effective, for instance:
Recent evidence has highlighted a significant role for probiotics in infant colic. Probiotics are live microorganisms that, upon administration, offer health benefits. It is observed that, Lactobacillus reuteri, a bacterium, decreased infant crying in breastfed infants suffering from colic.
Eliminating dairy foods from breastfeeding mothers’ diet:
One of the most effective non-drug methods after probiotics in the management of infantile colic is eliminating dairy foods from breastfeeding mothers’ diet. However, not all infants respond to this and the method of colic prevention has been proven to be effective only for those babies who have an underlying allergy to cow’s milk protein.
Behavioral therapies:
Certain behavioral therapies like giving the baby a gentle belly rub or holding the baby in arms might help relieve the baby.
Lactase products:
Lactase-products are in the form of tablets or drops and contain the enzyme lactase. This enzyme breaks down lactose. Lactase products are administered to the baby prior to feeding (breast milk/cow’s milk/baby food and etc.). Lactase tablets can also be taken before taking the first bite of the food. Lactase based products like Yamoo tablets and Yamoo drops are synthesized from natural sources and are among the safest options for managing lactose intolerance/infantile colic. More details about the product can be obtained at