Gas Drops for Infants and Toddlers
A Comparison of Tummy Calm and Simethicone
What are Gas Drops?
Gas drops are an orally administered over-the-counter liquid medication designed to relieve discomfort from gassiness, bloating and abdominal pain caused by trapped gas in the stomach and intestines. Parents often turn to gas drops to relieve the symptoms of excess gas in their newborn, baby or young child.
While most brands of gas drops contain the synthetic drug simethicone, Tummy Calm® is a homeopathic liquid formula and does not contain any simethicone. Your pediatrician may recommend either simethicone or Tummy Calm. If your pediatrician or pharmacist is not already familiar with Tummy Calm, you may refer them to our medical professionals page.
Gripe water and probiotic drops are also used to treat gas and digestive discomfort in some children, especially babies and toddlers.
Are All Gas Drops Basically the Same?
Not all gas drops are the same. There are four types of liquid medicines or supplements that may be ingested for gas: simethicone, Tummy Calm®, gripe water and probiotics.
Simethicone is made from a mixture of polydimethylsiloxane and silicon dioxide, and is sold over the counter under several brand names in the United States. Simethicone was first introduced in 1952 as an anti-foaming agent that causes gas bubbles to combine into larger bubbles. The theory is that larger gas bubbles in the stomach are easier to pass up through burping. However, simethicone has little or no effect on gas in the intestines. For this reason, directions states that simethicone should be administered prophylactically “after meals and at bedtime” to avoid gas travelling to the intestines which adults know can cause the most painful symptoms. Some parent complain that such a frequent dosing regimen can be both expensive and inconvenient. Some studies have shown simethicone to be no more effective than a placebo (sugar pill).
Gripe water is an herbal or homeopathic remedy that has been used for more than a century as a remedy to treat infant gas. Tummy Calm is from the same company that manufactures the highly acclaimed Colic Calm formula.
Tummy Calm are homeopathic gas relief drops; they are an effective, FDA-listed, natural alternative to simethicone gas drops. Tummy Calm contains microscopic particles of activated carbon, a substance used safely for centuries and clinically proven to relieve the symptoms of gas, bloating and abdominal pains caused by gas. Tummy Calm contains seven additional homeopathic remedies to provide safe and gentle digestive support. Tummy Calm provides effective relief to gassy babies and toddlers, usually within five minutes or less.
Probiotics are benevolent bacteria that aid the digestive process and support the immune system by protecting the body from harmful microbes ingested with food. Liquid probiotic formulas are available for children and several studies suggest that supplementing with a pediatric probiotic may help ease gastric problems, if administered over a period of several weeks.
Are Gas Drop Safe?
Both simethicone and Tummy Calm are considered safe for internal use. However, simethicone brands may contain artificial flavors and sweeteners to cover the chemical aftertaste, as well as emulsifiers and fillers such as: carboxymethylcellulose sodium (thickener), polyoxyl 40 stearate (emulsion), polysorbate 65 (emulsion), polyethylene glycol (laxative), polyethylene glycol stearate (emulsion), sucralose (artificial sweetener). Examine the label carefully, to ensure there is nothing that your child may have a reaction to. In rare cases, simethicone can cause allergic reactions or other side effects.
Tummy Calm contains natural active ingredients that have a long history of safe use.
Consult with your pediatrician before giving your child any over-the-counter medicines.
What Is the Best Way to Administer Gas Drops?
Both simethicone and Tummy Calm can be administered orally or mixed into a child’s drink. Simethicone gas drops have a soapy chemical aftertaste that your child may dislike. Tummy Calm has a sweet natural flavor similar to lemonade.
Because simethicone only affects gas in the stomach, it must usually be given with every meal, whereas Tummy Calm requires no regular dosing and may be given only upon onset of symptoms. Visit our FAQ page or read the label for more information about dosing and directions.