Background: Infantile colic is characterized by prolonged periods of inconsolable, incessant crying and persistent fussing in an otherwise healthy infant. It is a self-limiting condition, but causes significant stress to mothers.
Aim: To observe the role of Lactobacillus reuteriDSM 17938 in reducing crying time in colicky infants in routine clinical practice.
Methods: This was a prospective observational multicentric clinic-based study. Each practitioner included approximately 30 infants < 5 months of age with infantile colic who were prescribed L. reuteri DSM 17938 for a period of 21 days. There were four physical consultations and two telephonic consultations. The parents were given a daily diary to record the duration of crying and fussing episodes and a questionnaire was administered during the consultations.
Results: A total of 120 infants with a mean age of 56.9 ± 34.2 days were included in this 28-day study. The mean crying time as reported by the parents in the subject diary reduced from 248.2 ± 101.2 min, 95% CI: 229.45, 266.94 at baseline to 45.6 ± 79.1 min 95% CI: 31.02, 60.31 at study end (P < 0.01). The clinical response (defined as reduction of 50% in crying time) was observed in 85% of subjects at study end. The fussiness and parental perception of colic recorded during the consultations were reduced by 66% and 72%, respectively, at study end. The maternal depression scores were reduced to 63% at study end.
Conclusion: L. reuteri DSM 17938 was associated with a significant reduction in crying time in colicky infants, and showed improvement in maternal depression.
Keywords: Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938; crying duration; excessive crying; fussiness; infantile colic; maternal depression.