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Treatment for Abdominal Pain in Adults

Call 911 if:

  • You have pain and tenderness to the touch in the lower right abdomen with fever and/or vomiting. These may be signs of appendicitis.

1. Treat Symptoms

  • For heartburn from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), take an over-the-counter antacid or acid reducer.
  • For constipation, take a mild stool softener or laxative.
  • For pain, take acetaminophen (Aspirin Free Anacin, Liquiprin, Panadol, Tylenol). Avoid NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Midol, Motrin), or naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan) because they can cause stomach irritation or bleeding.

2. When to Call a Doctor

Seek medical help if the person:

  • Has severe abdominal pain or pain that lasts several days
  • Has nausea, fever, or inability to keep food down for several days
  • Has bloody stools
  • Vomits blood
  • Has painful urination
  • Has blood in the urine
  • Cannot pass stools, especially if also vomiting
  • Has difficulty breathing
  • Had an injury to the abdomen in the days before the pain started
  • Has heartburn that isn't relieved by over-the-counter drugs or last longer than two weeks

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on March 13, 2013

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