Treatment for Abdominal Pain

Treatment for abdominal pain depends on the underlying cause. In most cases, mild abdominal pain responds to conservative treatment. Small amounts of clear liquids (e.g., broth, ginger ale), ice chips, soft foods (e.g., gelatin), and bland foods (e.g., crackers, dry toast, rice, bananas) may be helpful.

Dairy products (e.g., milk, ice cream), heavy meals, and certain medications (e.g., nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs], used to reduce pain and inflammation) should be avoided. Over-the-counter medications (e.g., antacids, Pepcid, Tagamet) also can help relieve mild abdominal pain.

Life style modifications, including eating a healthy diet, maintaining a health weight, and exercising regularly, can help prevent some types of minor abdominal pain. In some cases, conditions that cause abdominal pain and complications require treatment with prescription medications (e.g., antibiotics to treat infection) or surgery (e.g., to stop GI bleeding, remove a tumor, appendectomy).

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 28 Feb 2008

Last Modified: 26 Aug 2015