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Clinical Trials Update
February 26, 2014

Prophylactic Probiotic May Prevent Colic in Newborns

JAMA. 2014;311(8):790. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.1554

Giving term newborns daily oral supplementation of the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 lessened the inconsolable crying of colic and reduced the incidence of regurgitation and functional constipation in the first 3 months of life, according to findings from a randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted in 9 neonatal units in Italy (Indrio F et al. JAMA Pediatr. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4367 [published online January 13, 2014]).

After 3 months, the 238 infants who received L reuteri DSM 17938 had much reduced crying time, a significant increase in evacuation frequency and significantly fewer regurgitations compared with the 230 infants who received placebo, according to their parents’ reports. Infants who received the probiotic also had fewer pediatric emergency department visits and needed fewer agents to relieve gastrointestinal distress, and their parents missed fewer workdays than infants who received placebo.