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There are medicines for gas that you can give to children. How do they work? They are sold (in the US) over the counter indicating they are of low health risk, but are there any issues if to much is consumed?

Update I was not aware that there may be multiple solutions. I am asking about the Simethicone types with Little Tummys being the brand name.

  • Can you please clarify what you mean by "anti-gas"? Can you give examples of these different medications? It's not clear to me (though it seems it should be) what you're really asking here. – anongoodnurse May 6 '15 at 12:05
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I cannot speak of all possible gas medicines. But there is a class of them which is indeed low risk and over the counter. These are silicones, and they work in a purely mechanical way, not getting absorbed by the body.

These silicones are the same stuff which you get in hair conditioner. They are quite inert chemically, and all they do is to change the surface tension of the liquid it is dissolved in - it becomes slippery, and if gas is pumped into it, it cannot form a bubble. As a result, it does not foam.

The bacteria in your intestine presumably continue to produce gas, but it quickly passes to its now-slippery contents, instead of being trapped and expanding them like the head of a poured beer. It does not exert painful, rumbling pressure anymore, and exits the intestine in small, less noticeable portions instead of creating mini-explosions.

For a reference, you can see this patent describing the mechanism of action of simethicone tablets: http://www.google.com/patents/US5612054.

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  • I was under the impression that simethicone causes burping/belching, and flatulence, in other words, it helps you expel trapped gas. Is this compatible with that you're saying? – anongoodnurse May 6 '15 at 12:02
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    @anongoodnurse I have not used it myself, but I helped a friend research it once. I know that it is used to alleviate bloating (which, in German, is not even regarded separately from flatulence) and that the mechanism is to let the gas to defoam and move smoothly through the now-slippery contents of the digestive tract and exit the body (see also the source). After your comment, I wonder if the part about the gas coming out less noticeably is part of what I have read, or something I have erroneously imagined. My friend said it helped her bloating/flatulence, I don't know all details. – rumtscho May 6 '15 at 13:49
  • I think we are both saying the same thing using different words. I agree, it is used to decreasing bloating. Thanks for your clarification. I'm unsure of how noticeable it is, but I understand what you're saying better. :) – anongoodnurse May 6 '15 at 18:17
  • A very interesting idea to use the patent as a reference. And a very simple and accurate explanation (+1) – Lucky Jul 17 '15 at 11:31

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