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Abdominal Pain

Sensation of discomfort, distress, or agony in the abdominal region.

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(Source: NIH - National Library of Medicine)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

The use of analgesia for acute abdominal pain (AAP) does not mask clinical findings, nor does it delay diagnosis.

The use of analgesia for AAP does not mask clinical findings nor does it delay diagnosis.

Antidepressants for the treatment of children and adolescents with functional abdominal pain

Abdominal pain‐related functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) are common in childhood and adolescence. In most cases no medical reason for the pain can be found. Various drug treatment approaches for the different types of abdominal pain‐related FGIDs exist. These drug treatments include: prokinetics and antisecretory agents for functional dyspepsia; pizotifen, propranolol, cyproheptadine or sumatriptane for abdominal migraine; and antispasmodic and antidiarrhoeal regimen for irritable bowel syndrome. Antidepressants have been shown to be effective in some studies of adults with functional gastrointestinal disorders. As a result young patients with similar complaints are sometimes treated with antidepressants. The purpose of this review was to examine the evidence assessing the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach. Only two studies met the inclusion criteria. Both of these studies were randomised controlled trials and assessed the effectiveness and safety of amitriptyline in children with FGIDs. Amitriptyline is a first generation antidepressant (tricyclic antidepressant). Amitriptyline is no longer an agent of first choice for the treatment of depressive disorders because of potentially serious side effects including overdose. Amitriptyline has not been approved for the treatment of functional abdominal pain in children or adolescents.

Managing acute lower abdominal pain in women of childbearing age

Review question: Cochrane authors reviewed available evidence on the use of laparoscopy to manage acute lower abdominal pain, non‐specific lower abdominal pain or suspected appendicitis in women of childbearing age. We found 12 studies.

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Summaries for consumers

The use of analgesia for acute abdominal pain (AAP) does not mask clinical findings, nor does it delay diagnosis.

The use of analgesia for AAP does not mask clinical findings nor does it delay diagnosis.

Antidepressants for the treatment of children and adolescents with functional abdominal pain

Abdominal pain‐related functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) are common in childhood and adolescence. In most cases no medical reason for the pain can be found. Various drug treatment approaches for the different types of abdominal pain‐related FGIDs exist. These drug treatments include: prokinetics and antisecretory agents for functional dyspepsia; pizotifen, propranolol, cyproheptadine or sumatriptane for abdominal migraine; and antispasmodic and antidiarrhoeal regimen for irritable bowel syndrome. Antidepressants have been shown to be effective in some studies of adults with functional gastrointestinal disorders. As a result young patients with similar complaints are sometimes treated with antidepressants. The purpose of this review was to examine the evidence assessing the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach. Only two studies met the inclusion criteria. Both of these studies were randomised controlled trials and assessed the effectiveness and safety of amitriptyline in children with FGIDs. Amitriptyline is a first generation antidepressant (tricyclic antidepressant). Amitriptyline is no longer an agent of first choice for the treatment of depressive disorders because of potentially serious side effects including overdose. Amitriptyline has not been approved for the treatment of functional abdominal pain in children or adolescents.

Managing acute lower abdominal pain in women of childbearing age

Review question: Cochrane authors reviewed available evidence on the use of laparoscopy to manage acute lower abdominal pain, non‐specific lower abdominal pain or suspected appendicitis in women of childbearing age. We found 12 studies.

See all (225)

More about Abdominal Pain

Photo of a young adult woman

See Also: Abdominal Ultrasound

Other terms to know:
Abdomen

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