Marketed under a variety of names in different countries are infant 'wind drops' which have as the active ingredient Simeticone.

This is claimed to work by

helping small trapped gas bubbles join into bigger bubbles, which your baby can easily bring up as wind. - helping to relieve their pain and discomfort.

In various places, these products are claimed to be 'clinically proven'. Is there any un-biased (i.e. research not performed or funded by the vendor) evidence that these products have any efficacy?

  • 1
    This is a mainstream, uncontroversial treatment for adults and children; the mechanism is clear and well understood. Why do you doubt it? One area of doubt is whether colic is caused by trapped wind; it could be migraines or any number of other pains that the baby can only communicate by crying.
    – slim
    Jun 20, 2013 at 11:19
  • What do you mean by 'mainstream'? Yes, it's not homepathy or some other quackery, but a plausible mechanism and a large number of sales are not evidence of efficacy. Have there been any rigorous double blind studies done on these products? Jun 20, 2013 at 23:42

1 Answer 1


Since you mention "infant" in the question, the most relevant systematic review I was able to find, is "Effectiveness of treatments for infantile colic: systematic review" BMJ 1998;316:1563

This evaluates 27 clinical trials, and among the conclusions are:

No benefit was shown for simethicone

It should be noted that "infant colic" refers to babies crying, or showing symptoms of distress, for no discernible reason -- since they can't talk, we don't know where their pain is. It could be a headache, in which case gut treatments aren't going to help.

In adults, Holtmann, G., Gschossmann, J., Mayr, P. and Talley, N. J. (2002), A randomized placebo-controlled trial of simethicone and cisapride for the treatment of patients with functional dyspepsia. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 16: 1641–1648. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2002.01322.x

... concludes:

Simethicone and cisapride were significantly better than placebo for symptom control in patients with functional dyspepsia after 2, 4 and 8 weeks of treatment. Simethicone was also superior to the prokinetic cisapride in the first 2 weeks of treatment.

This study is funded by Asche AG, and you have asked for studies "not funded by the vendor".

Drugs.com (credible with good onward referencing) states that simethicone is effective for flatulence, functional gastric bloating, and postoperative gas pain; "not recommended" for infant colic, and that its efficacy has not been demonstrated for intestinal distress and "immediate post-prandial upper abdominal distress".

So my conclusion is that simethicone is effective at relieving trapped gas in the adult gut, but that trapped gas in the gut is not typically the cause of baby colic.

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