Simethicone

Generic Name

simethicone (si METH ah cone)

 

Trade Name

Phazyme (60 mg , 95 mg, 125 mg)
Mylicon
Mylicon is only available as Drops.
This drug is available in an over-the-counter form.

 

What is simethicone?

The drug acts on the surface of bubbles by reducing the surface tension and thereby disrupting or breaking the bubble. A neat trick is to place a few drops onto the head of a glass of beer and see how quickly the beer loses its foam.

 

What is it used for?

Simethicone is used for excess gas in the intestinal tract. When these frothy bubbles are in the stomach or lower bowel, this medication helps the air be more readily expelled by belching or passing flatus. The drug does not prevent the formation of gas from swallowed air or from being created by intestinal bacteria. It does not make intestinal gases dissolve or disappear.

 

How do I take it?

Follow your physician’s instructions carefully. Take the medication after meals and at bedtime. The liquid form of this medication can be mixed with other liquids for easier administration. Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature away from light. Keep all medications away from children. Never share your medications with anyone else.

 

What do I do for a missed dose?

This medication is not absorbed so it really is not important if you miss a dose or even double up on a subsequent dose.

 

Are there interactions with food or beverages?

There are no known interactions with food or beverages. Dietary restriction of certain foods is often recommended to reduce flatus formation in the colon.

 

Are there interactions with other drugs?

An interaction generally means that one drug may increase or decrease the effect of another drug. Also, the more medications a person takes, the more likely there will be a drug interaction. There are no known drug interactions with simethicone.

 

Is there a problem if I have another disorder or disease?

At times, a drug may have a different or enhanced effect when other diseases are present. At other times, the drug may worsen or effect another disease. This drug is not absorbed from the intestine. It is not known to interact with any disease or medical condition.

 

What about allergies?

People who have known allergies or asthma may be at an increased risk for a reaction from any new medication. The physician should always know a patient’s allergy history. Signs of an allergic reaction are skin rash, hives or itching. Of course, a person should not take simethicone if there has been a previous reaction to this or a similar drug.

 

What if I’m pregnant, considering pregnancy or breast-feeding?

Most females now know that, if possible, no drug, including alcohol, should be taken during pregnancy or lactation. The potential danger, of course, is an injury to the baby. However, some drugs are much safer than others in this regard. So, the FDA has a grading system for each drug which reflects what is known medically. It ranks drugs from A, where medical studies show no evidence for danger to the fetus or mother, to B, C, D and X, where the medical evidence indicates that the risk to the fetus outweighs any benefit to the mother. Simethicone is not ranked. However, the drug is not absorbed from the intestinal tract so, theoretically, none should get into the blood stream. Always consult your physician before taking any drug during or when planning pregnancy.

 

How long is it safe to take simethicone?

Simethicone has a very safe profile so it can be taken for months or years without concern.

 

How about side effects?

Adverse reactions can occur with any drug, even over-the-counter medications. Some of these are mild such as a stomach upset, which may be avoided by taking the medication with food. Minor reactions may go away on their own but if they persist, contact the physician. For major reactions, the patient should contact the physician immediately.

For simethicone, the following are the observed side effects:

Minor:

  • bloating
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • heartburn

 

A physician’s comment…

Some people may mistakenly think that simethicone prevents formation of flatus or rectal gas. It does not do this. The drug simply makes big bubbles out of many small ones. However, the drug is very safe so it can always be tried for conditions such as abdominal boating, excessive belching or rectal gas.