|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
|Poly(dimethylsiloxane), silicon dioxide|
|Legal status||OTC (US)|
|Bioavailability||not absorbed from the gut|
|Formula||(C2H6OSi)n · (SiO2)m|
| (what is this?)
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— in the stomach or intestines. Simethicone is a mixture of polydimethylsiloxane and hydrated silica gel.
Chemical action and pharmaceutical effects
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. 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) 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.
Simethicone solutions of differing concentration also have industrial applications for reducing foaming in certain chemical processes.
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.
Simethicone comes in many different oral forms, which have differing usual dosages. Though there are standard dosages for adults and teens, dosages for children should be determined by a doctor.
- Capsules or tablets:
- Adults and teenagers: 60 to 125 milligrams (mg) four times a day, or 180mg twice a day, after meals and at bedtime. No more than 500 mg should be taken in twenty-four hours.
- Chewable tablets:
- Adults and teenagers: 40 to 125 mg four times a day, after meals and at bedtime or the dose may be 150 mg three times a day, after meals. No more than 500 mg should be taken in twenty-four hours.
- Adults and teenagers: 40 to 95 mg four times a day, after meals and at bedtime. No more than 500 mg should be taken in twenty-four hours.
- Dissolving membrane:
- A thin dissolving membrane dose that is placed on the tongue and dissolves with saliva. No more than 500 mg should be taken in twenty-four hours.
Simethicone is generally available over the counter under many brand names in varying dosage sizes and combinations with other drugs, including:
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.
The most common adverse effects of simethicone are gastrointestinal symptoms, including mild diarrhea, nausea, regurgitation, and vomiting.
- Norton, William (2005-01-09). "Controlling Intestinal Gas". Retrieved 2007-07-31.
- 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/
- University of Michigan clinical trial for simethicone used for colic
- Patient.co.uk on colic
- Product information (German)
- Product information (German)
- from Micromedex Dug Information. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- "Jackson Gastroenterology - Patient Education - Simethicone". Retrieved Nov. 11, 2013.
- "Medline Plus - Simethicone". Archived from the original on February 19, 2007. Retrieved Nov. 11, 2013.