A systematic review of treatments for infant colic

Pediatrics. 2000 Jul;106(1 Pt 2):184-90.


Objective: To conduct a systematic review of rigorously evaluated treatments for infant colic.

Methods: Online bibliographic databases were searched for the term "colic" in articles classified as clinical trials or randomized controlled trials and conducted in infants. Reference lists from review articles, meta-analyses, and the selected articles were also reviewed for potential studies. The abstracts or full-text articles of 57 relevant studies were examined, of which 22 met the selection criteria. The methodology and findings of all retrieved articles were critically evaluated. Data were extracted from each article regarding study methods, intervention studied, outcomes measured, and results.

Results: Four of the interventions studied had data of adequate quality and statistically significant numbers needed to treat (NNT): hypoallergenic diet (NNT = 6), soy formula (NNT = 2), reduced stimulation (NNT = 2), and herbal tea (NNT = 3).

Conclusions: There are some effective therapies for infant colic, but additional rigorous studies of existing and alternative therapies are needed.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Colic / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant