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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

Major Trauma: Assessment and Initial Management

This guideline provides guidance on the assessment and management of major trauma, including resuscitation following major blood loss associated with trauma. For the purposes of this guideline, major trauma is defined as an injury or a combination of injuries that are life-threatening and could be life changing because it may result in long-term disability. This guideline covers both the pre-hospital and immediate hospital care of major trauma patients but does not include any management after definitive lifesaving intervention. It has been developed for health practitioners and professionals, patients and carers and commissioners of health services.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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More about Abdominal Pain

Photo of a young adult woman

See Also: Abdominal Ultrasound

Other terms to know:
Abdomen

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