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Acute Abdominal Pain


Acute abdominal pain starts suddenly, gets worse quickly, and lasts up to 3 days.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You are sweating and have cool, clammy, pale skin.
  • You feel dizzy or like you are going to faint.
  • You have dark bowel movements, or you vomit blood.
  • You have a hard abdomen, or you are not able to pass gas.
  • You have severe pain in your abdomen that does not go away after you take medicine.
  • You have a very fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, and fast, shallow breathing.
  • You are thirsty and cold, your eyes and mouth feel dry, and you urinate little or nothing.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have new or worse signs and symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Prescription pain medicine may be given if other pain medicines do not work. Take the medicine as directed. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.