Simeticone


1. Simeticone

Simeticone or (simethicone) is a type of medicine called an antiflatulent. It is used to treat wind (flatulence).

It is a mixture of silica gel and dimeticone (or dimethicone, a type of silicone) and is known as "activated dimeticone".

It can help with trapped wind and bloating as well as colic in babies. People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sometimes take simeticone to ease their symptoms.

You can buy it in pharmacies without a prescription, and in some supermarkets.

It comes as tablets, capsules, drops and a liquid that you swallow.

It often comes combined with other ingredients such as medicines to treat indigestion (antacids) or diarrhoea.

Simeticone is also known by the brand names Infacol, Wind-eze and Dentinox Colic Drops. When it's combined with other ingredients, brand names include Maalox Plus and Imodium Plus.


2. Key Facts

  • Simeticone usually starts to work within 30 minutes.
  • It works by bringing together the small gas bubbles in your gut to form bigger bubbles, allowing trapped air to pass through your body more easily.
  • It's generally safe with no known side effects.
  • Most people will only need to take it occasionally, or over a short period of time.
  • Simeticone can be taken during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

3. Who can and cannot take simeticone

Most adults and children, including newborn babies, can take simeticone.

It may not be suitable for some people. To make sure simeticone is safe to take, tell a pharmacist or doctor if you (or your child):

  • are allergic (or hypersensitive) to simeticone or any of the other ingredients
  • are having treatment for a thyroid problem

Simeticone often comes mixed with other ingredients. It's important to read the leaflet that comes with the medicine, or the information printed on the box or bottle, to make sure the medicine is suitable for you or your child.

If you are not sure, ask a doctor or a pharmacist for advice.


4. How and when to take it

The instructions for taking this medicine will vary, depending on the type of simeticone.

Always read the information in the leaflet that comes with the medicine or on the box or bottle.

How much to take

Doses vary depending on the type of medicine, the brand and the amount of simeticone in it. The dose is lower for babies.

For wind, the usual dose is between 100mg and 250mg. You can take the medicine as required, up to 3 or 4 times a day. It’s usually taken after meals and at bedtime.

For colic in babies, the usual dose is between 20mg and 40mg, given before each feed, up to 6 times a day.

How to take it

Infant colic drops

Shake the bottle. Measure the dose using the dropper or syringe provided and give to your baby right away.

Some brands can be added to your baby's bottle of milk. Check the leaflet or ask your health visitor or pharmacist if you're not sure.

Liquid

Shake the bottle. Measure the correct dose using a syringe, medicine spoon, or small measuring cup. Ask a pharmacist for one.

Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.

Tablets, capsules and gel capsules

Swallow these whole with some water.

Chewable tablets

Chew the tablets before swallowing. You can have a drink of water afterwards if you like.

What if I take too much?

Contact a doctor, health visitor or pharmacist if you have taken or given your baby more than the recommended dose of simeticone.

Taking too much simeticone is not likely to cause any serious problems. However, it may cause headaches, an upset stomach, diarrhoea or constipation.


5. Side effects

Simeticone is a very safe medicine and is generally not known to cause any side effects.

Serious allergic reaction

In rare cases it's possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to simeticone.

Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E now if:

  • you get a skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • you're wheezing
  • you get tightness in the chest or throat
  • you have trouble breathing or talking
  • your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat start swelling

You could be having a serious allergic reaction and may need immediate treatment in hospital

Information:

You can report any suspected side effects to the UK Safety Scheme


6. Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Simeticone only works in your gut and does not get into your blood. It's safe to take if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you are taking a type of simeticone that is combined with other ingredients, check with a doctor or a pharmacist to make sure it's safe before taking it.

Important

Tell a doctor if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding.


7. Cautions with other medicines

Simeticone is generally safe to take with other medicines. However, talk to a doctor or pharmacist before you use simeticone if you are taking:

  • levothyroxine for thyroid problems. Simeticone might stop levothyroxine being absorbed properly, meaning it will not work as well.

If the medicine contains other ingredients with simeticone, read the leaflet or talk to a doctor or pharmacist to make sure it is suitable to take with other medicines.

Taking simeticone with herbal supplements

There are no known problems with taking herbal remedies and supplements with simeticone.

Important

For safety, tell a doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any other medicines, including herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements.


8. Common questions

Page last reviewed: 10/10/2019
Next review due: 10/10/2022