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June 2019

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1995 Aug; 115(19): 2386-9.

[Infantile colic--what will help?]

Matheson I.

Institutt for farmakoterapi, Universitetet i Oslo.

Infantile colic occurs in 1/3 of all infants and is still a medical mystery. This paper reviews the etiology and the documented therapies. The overall aim is to avoid that inefficient forms of medication are used for this indication. It is not yet known whether colic is a dysfunction related to physical pain or behaviour. The results from 885 infants born in Oslo suggested that colic was frequent among those whose mothers both breastfed them and smoked more than five cigarettes daily. No increase in relative risk was found for other maternal or demographic factors. Since it is impossible to treat the causes parents should be advised to try general and specific strategies. General advice includes support, interest and care from health personnel and assistance from relatives. Specifically, some infants respond to either dietary changes (no cow's milk), oral sucrose infusion, vibro-accustic treatment, behavioural therapy or carrying, but avoiding hyperstimulation. Nicotine-free breast milk has not been evaluated. The available pharmacotherapy is not efficacious. Alternative medicine (herbal teas, chiropractic, acupuncture), has not yet been proven to be efficacious.


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