Frequently Asked Questions

Colic is defined as repeated episodes of excessive and inconsolable crying in a new-born baby who otherwise appears to be perfectly healthy. The condition affects up to 1 in 5 babies.

Symptoms of colic can include:
Crying for at least 3 hours a day, at least 3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks

  • Drawing up of the knees
  • Wind
  • Redness of the face

The only ingredients in Colief® Infant Drops are lactase enzyme (which should be naturally present in a normal, developed digestive system), glycerol (or “glycerine”-which is also naturally present in the body as part of the process of converting fats to energy), and water. None of these ingredients has ever been shown to pose a risk to health.

Yes. Glycerol is derived from vegetable sources, and the lactase enzyme is derived from yeast.

Prepare the formula as per manufacturer’s instructions. Add 4 drops of Colief® Infant Drops to the warm (not hot) formula. Wait 30 minutes, shaking the formula occasionally, then feed the baby as normal, making sure the formula is at the correct temperature. Discard any unused formula.

Yes, though the latest advice from health experts is that bottles should be prepared as and when required. The bottles should be prepared as normal and allowed to cool to body temperature (not hot, not cold). Add 2 drops of Colief® Infant Drops per feeding and place them in a refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours. Take the feedings from the refrigerator as required.

If prepared in advance, we recommend 12 hours as a maximum limit for keeping milk treated with Colief® Infant Drops, even when stored in a refrigerator. After 4 hours, most of the lactose will be broken down and there will be little more activity thereafter. It is not good practice to keep prepared formula for too long, even in a refrigerator.

If drops were given directly to the baby, the acid in the upper digestive tract would quickly change the nature of the enzyme and render Colief® Infant Drops ineffective. However, mixing 4 drops of Colief® Infant Drops with a little expressed foremilk* appears to protect the active ingredient, lactase enzyme. The foremilk preparation provides a lining to the baby’s upper digestive tract, mixing with the breast milk and working to reduce the lactose level of the milk.

We believe that in this form, the enzyme has an effective “working life” of approximately 30 minutes. Laboratory trials have shown that 4 drops of Colief® Infant Drops in 3.38 fl oz of infant milk at body temperature will break down approximately 70% of the lactose in 30 minutes.

* Foremilk contains a concentration of the lactose in breast milk.

Colief® Infant Drops can be used at every feeding until the baby is 3 to 4 months old, by which time the signs of colic should have disappeared. Colief® Infant Drops can then be withdrawn gradually from use, first by halving the drops per feed, then using at alternative feeds, then one feed per day before complete withdrawal. If at any stage the signs of colic return, revert to previous dosage.

When babies commence taking milk treated with Colief® Infant Drops, there may be change in stool pattern. The stools may then resemble those of a breastfed baby, ie looser and more frequent. If you are happy that the baby is otherwise well, gaining weight and urinating normally then there should be no cause for concern. If the drops seem to be working well, you might try reducing the number of drops used at each feed.

If you have any concerns regarding your baby’s health you should consult a Health Care Professional as soon as possible.

Yes: Goats-milk based infant formula contains lactose the same as any other normal formula. Use Colief® Infant Drops as for other formula.

Express a single serving of breast milk. While still at body temperature, pour it into a feeding bottle and add 4 drops of Colief® Infant Drops, shaking occasionally. The breast milk will be ready to use after 30 minutes.

Colief® was tested at Cork University Hospital, Ireland by Prof. Kearney in the early 1990’s to demonstrate that a lactose-reduced feed was effective in reducing infant colic. His results were presented to the Royal College of Paediatricians at their annual meeting in spring 1994 and published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics in Sept 1998. These results were confirmed in a larger study recently completed at Guys Hospital by Dr Dipak Kanabar and published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics in Oct 2001.

The addition of Colief® Infant Drops to the baby’s usual milk compensates for a possible temporary lactase deficiency in the baby’s digestive system. Colief® Infant Drops added to a baby’s usual milk greatly reduces the level of lactose by breaking it down into glucose and galactose before the baby is fed. Studies have shown that the hours of crying may be greatly reduced when a baby’s usual milk is treated with Colief® Infant Drops.

Milk, infant formulas, breast milk, and dairy products all contain a complex sugar (disaccharide) called lactose. Lactase is the enzyme our bodies need to produce to break down the lactose in milk and dairy products into the simple sugars (monosaccharides) glucose and galactose. These can then be absorbed as part of the normal digestive process.

Express a few teaspoons of milk into a sterilised container. Then add 4 drops of Colief® Infant Drops and feed it back to the baby using a sterilised plastic spoon. Immediately start breastfeeding as normal.

Warm the formula, add 4 drops of Colief® Infant Drops to the warm (not hot) formula. Wait 30 minutes, shaking the formula occasionally, then feed the baby as normal, making sure the formula is at the correct temperature. Discard any unused formula.

Once opened, ready-made formula must be kept refrigerated and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Colief® Infant Drops works best in warm milk. Colief® Infant Drops should not be added to milk at refrigerator temperature.

Not at refrigerator temperature. The drops work very slowly on milk that is already chilled. The ideal temperature for the enzymes to work properly is between room temperature and body temperature-neither too hot nor too cold. This is why we recommend that the drops be added when the formula is first prepared then allowed to cool to body temperature.

Colief® Infant Drops can safely be used from birth onwards.

Unopened bottles of Colief® Infant Drops should be stored in a cool, dry place below 77°F/ 25°C. Once opened, we generally advise that Colief Infant Drops should be stored in a refrigerator, and the opened bottle discarded after 6 weeks.  Very high temperatures reduce the efficacy but it does actually take some time before that happens. Temperatures above 131°F/ 55°C will rapidly reduce functionality. Because we supply Colief® Infant Drops across many countries around the world we generally recommend the product is stored in the fridge after opening. This is because some countries where the product is sold may experience very high temperatures throughout the day.

There’s no point using Colief® Infant Drops with soya or lactose-free formulas: these do not contain lactose and Colief® Infant Drops will therefore have no active effect.

If you are feeding this frequently, you may find it convenient to express approximately half a cup of foremilk* and store this in a refrigerator. Pour a few tablespoons, warm it to body temperature, add Colief Infant Drops, and give this to your baby before each feeding.

If the feedings are small-say 50ml each-you may be able to use only 2 drops of Colief Infant Drops per feeding. It is worth remembering that most of the lactose is concentrated in the foremilk at the beginning of every feeding. * Foremilk contains a concentration of the lactose in breast milk.

Option 1: Express a single feeding, and while still at body temperature, pour this into a suitable container. Add 2 drops of Colief® Infant Drops and place the breast milk in a refrigerator for 4 hours. Then use as required or freeze for future use. Do not place the breast milk straight in the freezer after adding the drops.

Option 2: Take a single serving of frozen breast milk from the freezer, thaw and heat gently to body temperature. Then add 4 drops of Colief® Infant Drops and use after 30 minutes.

Note: It is important to add Colief® Infant Drops only to milk that is at body temperature: do not add the drops to milk that is either hot or cold. Also discard any milk that is unused once thawed. Do not refreeze.

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