As a parent it is often very hard to make a decision to give medication. It is not that we think medicine is bad, it is rather the overwhelming list of ingredients that we can't pronounce that gives us pause. With the recall of so many medicines formerly believed to be safe how can we really know which products are 'OK'? After having six children and many of these same fears myself I felt it important to talk about the different forms of infant gas relief and shed some light on the subject.
Many pediatricians recommend the use of Mylicon or it's generic forms as a way to provide relief for babies suffering from gas. A baby can have gas for many reasons, this is especially true in a breastfed baby. Changes in the mothers diet, or a change in brand/type of formula can lead to gas. It is every parent's nightmare to have a baby that is fussing. The truth is sometimes we simply may not know what is wrong. You may not always be able to pin-point the cause of gas but with infant gas relief drops you do have a solution. Mylicon or other brands of infant gas drops are a great resource for parents who have tried everything and the fussiness is still prevalent.
I am a firm advocate of infant gas drops. I like them so much because they work, but I especially love them because of how they work. Infant gas drops have the active ingredient Simethicone. Simethicone is an anti-foaming agent, that decreases the surface tension of gas bubbles. Because the surface tension is decreased tiny gas bubbles can merge into bigger bubbles allowing them to be passed easier from the human body. Mylicon or other respective gas relief drops do not prevent gas in infant's, however they do increase the rate at which gas is expelled from the body. This is often why an infant who has been given gas drops seems to have even more gas. While that can be disturbing, I promise the gas is much better out of them, than in them. Simethicone isn't absorbed by the bloodstream and so it is considered safe in recommended doses.
Infant gas drops should not be confused with "Gripe Water."Gripe Water is a commonly brewed home remedy for infant gas that I do not feel is safe and I don't recommended it for use. Because the FDA does not approve of Gripe Water also known as Woodward's as an approved drug it is sold as a supplement. Even though Woodward's is marketed as homeopathic you should know that it contains alcohol and therefore shouldn't be used to treat ailment's in infants.
Gas relief products aren't only for infants, the oral forms change to fit the patient. Adults and children can benefit from these products as well by taking a chewable tablet, or capsule. Gas relief products are also sold in a dissolving film for children who have problems taking medicine. These medications are sold under the brand names Mylanta, Maalox, and Gas-X as well as many others.
Although products that contain Simethicone are effective in the treatment of gas they are not a cure for infant colic. Infant colic was once believed to be trapped gas in the digestive tract but studies have proven that could only be a sympton of other underlying causes. Because an infants digestive tract is changing rapidly a lack of Lactobacillious acidophilus could be a cause and cure to colic. A parent suspecting colic should research colic and the use of probiotics. If you are unsure of the cause of the crying, you can at least be sure that infant gas relief products are safe. A parents choice to give medication can sometimes be very hard. I hope this article sheds some light on how and why this medication works; and gives you peace of mind in choosing the product that is right for your baby.
See The Ugly Tryth About Colic for more information.