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General Practice 2023

Simethicone: what it is for, how to take it and side effects

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Simethicone: what it is for, how to take it and side effects
Simethicone: what it is for, how to take it and side effects

Simethicone is a remedy with antiflatulent action, which acts by breaking the bubbles that retain gases, facilitating their elimination and helping to relieve the discomfort, pain and pressure caused by excess gases in the stomach or intestine, and can be used by babies, children and adults.

This medicine is available in pharmacies and drugstores, found in the form of tablets, solution in drops or gelatinous capsules, administered orally, with the commercial name Luftal, or in the generic form with the name simethicone, or with the similar names Flatex, Flagass or Gastroflat, for example.

Although it is sold without a prescription, it is important to use simethicone with medical advice, especially for babies and children.

What is it for

Simethicone can be used to treat excess gas in the stomach or intestine that causes abdominal pain or discomfort, intestinal colic, excessive burping caused by poor digestion or stomach dilatation.

In addition, simethicone can also be used as a bowel preparation to remove gases inside the stomach or intestine, for medical examinations such as digestive endoscopy, colonoscopy or abdominal radiography.

How to use

Simethicone should be taken orally, preferably after a meal or before bed. This medicine should only be used when the person has symptoms of excess gas or in preparation for exams. So if you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but skip the missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.

How to use simethicone varies by presentation and includes:

1. Simethicone drops 75mg/mL

Simethicone drops can be used by adults, babies and children, and the dose varies with age:

  • Children under 2 years: 3 to 5 drops orally, up to 3 times a day, as directed by the pediatrician;
  • Children aged 2 to 12 years: 5 to 10 drops orally, up to 3 times a day, as directed by the pediatrician;
  • Adults and children over 12 years: 13 drops orally, up to 3 times a day.

To give the dose to the baby or child, you can mix simethicone with water, baby formula or other liquids to make swallowing easier.

It is important to shake the bottle of simethicone drops before use and it should always be used with medical advice, especially for babies and children, as the pediatrician must indicate the amount to be taken and the treatment time.

2. Simethicone 40 mg tablet

Simethicone tablets should only be used by adults and the normally recommended dose is 1 tablet of 40 mg, orally up to 3 times a day, after meals, as directed by a doctor. The maximum dose should not exceed 500 mg per day.

3. Simethicone capsules 125 mg

Simethicone softgels are recommended for adults only and the dose is 1 capsule of 125 mg, orally, every 6 hours, taken after a meal, as directed by your doctor. The maximum dose per day is 4 capsules of 125 mg of simethicone.

Possible side effects

Simethicone is generally well tolerated because it is not absorbed by the body, acting only on the gases present in the stomach or intestine and being completely eliminated through the feces.

However, some side effects may arise while using simethicone such as hives or itching, swelling and redness of the skin.

In addition, simethicone can cause an allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention. Therefore, you should stop treatment and seek the nearest emergency department if you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, cough, chest pain, feeling of a closed throat, swelling in the mouth, tongue or face, or hives. Learn more about allergic reaction symptoms.

Who should not use

Simethicone should not be used by people who are allergic to simethicone or people who have a perforation or obstruction in the intestine.

This medicine should only be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding with medical advice and guidance.

Simethicone drops solution may contain phenylalanine and should not be used by people with phenylketonuria.

What is the difference between dimethicone and simethicone?

Both dimethicone and simethicone have anti-foaming properties, and can be indicated for the treatment of intestinal gas.However, dimethicone can also be used in some formulations of sunscreen or body moisturizers, as it forms a protective barrier on the skin, and in these cases, it should not be ingested.

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