Abdominal Pain

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-825/2016
  • Departments: Emergency Department
  • Last Updated: 1 October 2016


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about your condition.  Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion.  If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team caring for you.

Abdominal pain

You have been assessed by a practitioner for your abdominal pain. They would have examined you and maybe performed some tests to rule out any serious conditions. Abdominal pain is very common and we sometimes do not know what is causing the pain. Most of the time, it settles down in a few days and, following your examination, the practitioner may feel that you can be discharged.

Caring for your abdominal pain

If the practitioner has given you pain relief, take this as advised. You should take simple pain relief regularly, eg paracetamol. You can take up to 8 paracetamol tablets in a single 24 hour period.

It is often best to avoid using anti-inflammatory medication e.g. ibuprofen, unless instructed to do so by the practitioner looking after you.

Can there be any complications or risks?

If you:

  • Develop very severe abdominal pain.
  • Develop pain that goes through to your back.
  • Develop shoulder pain.
  • Become feverish or shivery.
  • Start vomiting or passing blood from your back passage.
  • Suffer any fainting or collapse.
  • Have blood in urine.

You should make your way to the Emergency Department if you are able or alternatively call for an ambulance.

What pain relief can I use?

There are 2 types of pain relief medication which can be used:

  • Paracetamol – to be taken regularly as prescribed by the doctor/nurse.
  • Codeine –type pain relief medication. They come in different strengths and may
    be combined with paracetamol. (Do not take additional paracetamol with this medication.)

If you feel your pain is not controlled with these types of medication, please see your GP.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Emergency Department on telephone number (01482) 482251.

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