What Factors Affect a Sufficient Simethicone Dose?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

An appropriate simethicone dose can depend on a patient’s age and how well the medication works. This drug breaks up gas in the gut to relieve feelings of bloating and discomfort that can lead to flatulence and belching. It may be used for patients with ongoing or temporary gastrointestinal problems, as well as in predication for procedures where the gut needs to be cleared of as much as possible. Patients who have just had surgery and might be prone to postoperative gas pains can also use simethicone.

Simethicone may be used to relieve gas pain.
Simethicone may be used to relieve gas pain.

One factor is age, as children need smaller doses because they are not as large. Teens and adults can take 500 milligrams daily as a maximum, while doses above 240 milligrams daily are not recommended for children under 12. Very young children may need an even lower dose which a pediatrician or other practitioner who specializes in children can calculate, based on weight and history. Suspensions of this drug are available for precise measuring when large-dose tablets are not appropriate.

Bloating and discomfort can be alleviated by simethicone.
Bloating and discomfort can be alleviated by simethicone.

Another issue is timing. People can take two to four doses depending on convenience and how they feel after taking simethicone. If they take more doses, they need to split the medication up to avoid going over the daily maximum, while a larger simethicone dose can be used each time if they only take it twice. For example, someone might take 125 milligrams four times a day versus 180 milligrams two times a day.

A sufficient simethicone dose for children should be decided by a pediatrician.
A sufficient simethicone dose for children should be decided by a pediatrician.

Response to the medication can be a consideration. Patients may start on a low simethicone dose to see if it resolves the problem, and increase over time if necessary. This allows them to control bloating with a minimal risk of side effects. Simethicone doesn’t usually cause problems for patients, but it can be better to be conservative with medications. If the patient doesn’t respond at all, there may be another medical problem that needs to be addressed.

Simethicone should be taken with plenty of water.
Simethicone should be taken with plenty of water.

Radiological and surgical procedures involving the gut may require a one-time simethicone dose shortly beforehand to break up and eliminate bubbles. In radiology, gas can make it hard to see specific structures, and it can cause other problems in surgery, like bloating in the surgical field. This dose is typically less than 100 milligrams, and it is given in a suspension of water to allow it to absorb fully. People taking a simethicone dose for postoperative bloating and gas pain typically use a regular adult or child dose, if applicable.

Wearing ill-fitting dentures can increase air intake and cause flatulence.
Wearing ill-fitting dentures can increase air intake and cause flatulence.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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