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New treatments for infant colic

Savino, Francesco; Tarasco, Valentina

doi: 10.1097/MOP.0b013e32833fac24
General pediatrics: Edited by Michael D. Cabana

Purpose of review Infantile colic is a common problem within the first 3 months of life and causes considerable distress for parents and paediatricians. Despite 40 years of research, its pathogenesis is incompletely understood and treatment remains an open issue. This review will describe recent studies that have examined different kinds of interventions.

Recent findings Important advances in understanding the aetiopathogenesis of infantile colic have been recently proposed and opened new perspectives in its management.

The composition of intestinal microbiota, specially an inadequate amount of lactobacilli and an increased concentration of coliforms, might influence the pathogenesis of infantile colic. The benefit of supplementation with Lactobacillus reuteri has been recently reported and experimental data showed the effect of probiotics may be related to the influence on gut motility and pain perception.

Summary Infantile colic is a clinical entity with a wide range of clinical presentations and outcome. Firstly, paediatricians have to exclude other underlying diseases with a medical examination and prevent feeding disorders. Then, considering the favourable clinical course of the disturbance, well tolerated strategies should be adopted. The findings highlighted in this review may promote the implementation of new researches and treatments to reduce abdominal pain related to infantile colic.

Department of Pediatrics, Regina Margherita Children Hospital, University of Turin, Turin, Italy

Correspondence to Francesco Savino, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, ‘Regina Margherita’ Children Hospital, P.zza Polonia, 94 10126 Turin, Italy Tel: +39 0113135257; fax: +39 011677082; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.