Infantile colic is defined as paroxysms of uncontrollable and unexplained crying in the first three months of life. Complementary and alternative therapy methods are one of the methods used to treat infantile colic, which has negative effects on parents and infants.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the complementary and alternative therapy methods used to treat infantile colic.
The PubMed, SCOPUS, Web of Science and Cochrane Library databases were searched for complementary therapies for infantile colic. Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) were used to determine the search terms. Combination of infantile colic and acupuncture therapy, musculoskeletal manipulations, massage, phytotherapy, aromatherapy were used as the search terms.
A total of 13 interventions were found from Sweden, Norway, Russia, Italy, Turkey, Iran and Finland. In two randomized and controlled trials, acupuncture therapy was found to be effective in the treatment of infantile colic. One study found it to be ineffective. No serious side effects were reported in these studies. A variety of aromatic oils have been used by orally, by inhalation and topically to treat infantile colic and have been found to be effective with no serious side effects. Massage has also been found to effectively reduce the symptoms of infantile colic.
Further study of the complementary and alternative therapy methods will help to increase the evidence for their effective use in the treatment of infantile colic.