How Can Parents Treat Colic In Their Babies?

May 22, 1998

(Effectiveness of treatments for infantile colic: systematic review)

Infantile colic - excessive crying in healthy, thriving infants - is a self -limiting condition which is usually resolved by the time a baby reaches three or four months, however the condition can cause a great deal of distress for the family. The cause of colic is still far from clear, but several biological and social factors have been suggested, such as an allergy to cows' milk. In this week's BMJ Dr Lucassen et al from the Netherlands report that attempts to treat infantile colic should begin by substituting cow's milk with hypoallergenic formula milks. This combined with behavioural interventions, such as teaching parents to be more appropriately responsive to their infants and more effectively soothing, may help reduce crying. The authors argue strongly that drug treatment of infantile colic has no place in primary care because of the serious potential side effects that the drugs could pose.

Contact:

Dr Peter Lucassen, General Practitioner in Private Practice, Amsterdam

Dr Willem Assendelft, General Practitioner, Institute of Research in Extramural Medicine, Free University, Amsterdam, Netherlands p.assendelft.EMGO@med.vu.nl
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BMJ

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