Colic drops are an over-the-counter medication used to treat colic in infants. The medication is designed to help babies pass gas more easily, relieving the tension and pressure in the abdomen that causes colic. This medication should be used under the direction of a doctor and it is important to follow instructions carefully, as the low body weight of babies puts them at increased risk for an overdose of medication. Many drug stores carry colic drops and they can also be purchased at pharmacies and may be provided directly through a doctor's office.
The most common ingredient in this medication is simethicone, an anti-foaming agent. When the medication is administered, it helps the gas bubbles in the stomach and intestines flow together, creating larger bubbles and making it easy for the body to express the gas. Small bubbles can create a foam the body has difficulty expelling and this leads to a buildup of pressure, causing extreme discomfort. Colicky babies may have tender, swollen abdomens and often have a distinctive relentless cry.
This medication is sold in liquid form to allow people to precisely measure out doses. It is easy to swallow, ensuring the baby gets the right doses. It is usually recommended for use after babies eat their meals, to help them digest without gas buildups, and immediately before bed. If symptoms of colic persist or grow worse, the baby should be taken to a doctor for medical attention, as there may be another medical problem causing discomfort for the infant.
Before using colic drops, parents may want to consult a doctor to check for contraindications and get advice about the proper use of the medication. It is also important to keep doctors apprised of all medications a baby is taking, including herbal medications, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs like colic drops. Medication interactions can occur and may pose a risk to the baby or interfere with the function of medications the baby is taking. In some cases, babies may be taking inappropriate medications and there is a concern that colic and other health problems may actually be caused by things the baby is taking.
Typically, colic drops can be stored in a cool, dry place and the bottle should be shaken before use to mix the medication thoroughly. The bottle usually comes with a measuring device such as a dropper, cap with marked levels, or oral syringe. This device should be used to measure out doses in accordance with the instructions on the bottle, and it needs to be thoroughly washed after use.