Simethicone

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Simethicone
Simethicone structure.svg
Systematic (IUPAC) name
Poly(dimethylsiloxane), silicon dioxide
Clinical data
AHFS/Drugs.com monograph
Legal status OTC (US)
Routes Oral
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability not absorbed from the gut
Protein binding N/A
Metabolism N/A
Half-life N/A
Excretion N/A
Identifiers
CAS number 8050-81-5 YesY
ATC code A03AX13
PubChem CID 6433516
ChEMBL CHEMBL1200838 N
Chemical data
Formula (C2H6OSi)n · (SiO2)m
Mol. mass variable
 N (what is this?)  (verify)

Simethicone is an orally administered anti-foaming agent used to reduce bloating, discomfort or pain caused by excessive gas — mainly swallowed air, with small amounts of hydrogen and methane[1][2]— in the stomach or intestines. Simethicone is a mixture of polydimethylsiloxane and hydrated silica gel.

Chemical action and pharmaceutical effects[edit]

Simethicone is an anti-foaming agent that decreases the surface tension of gas bubbles, causing them to combine into larger bubbles in the stomach that can be passed more easily. Simethicone does not reduce or prevent the formation of gas in the digestive tract, rather, it increases the rate at which it exits the body.[3] However, simethicone can relieve pain caused by gas in the intestines by decreasing foaming which then allows for passing of flatulence. Simethicone is not absorbed by the body into the bloodstream, and is therefore considered relatively safe. National Institutes of Health (NIH)[4] reports there are usually no side effects when simethicone is taken as directed. Although simethicone has also been promoted as a treatment for colic, randomised controlled trials have not demonstrated efficacy for such use.[5][6]

Simethicone solutions of differing concentration also have industrial applications for reducing foaming in certain chemical processes.

The use of simethicone can help reduce visual obstructions caused by intestinal gas during ultrasounds of the abdomen, although it has no effect on extraluminal gas outside the colon.

To achieve the goal of reducing the formation of gas in the digestive tract, which simethicone does not do, another approach is to consume enzyme supplements along with meals. For example, alpha-galactosidase, marketed as Beano, serves this purpose.

Availability[edit]

Simethicone is generally available over the counter under many brand names in varying dosage sizes and combinations with other drugs, including:

Other uses[edit]

Simethicone is used in some detergents when foaming is unwanted.

Simethicone is also used in the fermentation process to reduce the shearing of proteins by agitation.

Side effects[edit]

The most common adverse effects of simethicone are gastrointestinal symptoms, including mild diarrhea, nausea, regurgitation, and vomiting.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/digestive_disorders/gas_in_the_digestive_tract_85,P00369/
  2. ^ http://www.badgut.org/information-centre/intestinal-gas.html
  3. ^ Norton, William (2005-01-09). "Controlling Intestinal Gas". Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  4. ^ PubMed Health, produced by National Center for Biotechnology, a division of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health; see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000747/
  5. ^ University of Michigan clinical trial for simethicone used for colic
  6. ^ Patient.co.uk on colic
  7. ^ Product information (German)
  8. ^ Product information (German)
  9. ^ from Micromedex Dug Information. Retrieved 2013-01-13.

External links[edit]