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  • Appendicitis (ah-pen-dih-SI-tis) is an inflammation (swelling) of the appendix. The appendix is a small pouch that is attached to the large intestine in the lower right side of the abdomen (stomach). Experts are unsure of the purpose of the appendix, but it can become infected. A piece of food or hardened stool may get trapped in it. The appendix may get blocked, swollen, and filled with pus.
  • Pain may start around your belly button and move to the right lower side of your abdomen. The pain may not go away. You may also have a rigid (hard) abdomen, nausea (upset stomach), or vomiting (throwing up). A fever may be one of the later signs that you have appendicitis. Tests to check if you have appendicitis include an abdominal computerized tomography (CT) scan and an ultrasound. Removing your appendix with surgery is the only treatment for appendicitis.
    Picture of a normal digestive system


Take your medicine as directed:

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.


  • You have abdominal pain that does not go away or gets worse.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
  • You have trouble having a bowel movement (BM) or have diarrhea.
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • You are vomiting and cannot keep food down.
  • You have questions or concerns about your care, treatment, or medicine.


  • You have a fever.
  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing.

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Appendicitis (Aftercare Instructions)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference