9 medicines and pills for stomach pain

Just as the causes of stomach pain are varied, so are the medications that may be indicated. Learn about the most used here.

Last update: 14 January, 2022

There are different medicines for stomach pain. These must be indicated by the general practitioner or specialist in the gastrointestinal tract (gastroenterologist).

The causes of stomach pain are multiple and include the following:

  • Intestinal malabsorption.
  • Food poisoning.
  • Intestinal infection.
  • Intolerance to some food.
  • Constipation.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux.
  • Chronic gastritis.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.

To refer to the different medicines and pills for stomach pain, the classification according to their usual use will be used. These are the 9 most used groups.

1. Antispasmodics

Antispasmodics are used for intestinal conditions, because they relax the smooth muscle of the organ, allowing to interrupt or prevent painful and involuntary contraction (spasms). In this way, they are useful when the pain is colicky.

The best known antispasmodics are the following:

  • Butylscopolamine.
  • Papaverine hydrochloride.
  • Pirenzepine.
  • trimebutine
Intestinal colic can refer pain to the stomach intermittently with a high intensity.

2. Anti-inflammatories

anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit the inflammatory cascade produced by the release of cytokines. They are indicated when stomach pain is the product of intestinal inflammation, as is the case with inflammatory bowel disease. The most prescribed are metamizol and mesalazine.



3. Anti-infectives

Anti-infectives are indicated when it is known that the origin of gastrointestinal discomfort is due to presence of an intestinal infection. It can be bacterial, viral or parasitic. The medicine to use in this case, to treat stomach pain, will depend on the microorganism in question.

In case of being a bacterium, antibiotics are indicated. In parasitic, antiparasitic drugs are prescribed. On the other hand, In viral infections, only general measures are usually indicated.

The most commonly used antibiotics are ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, and metronidazole. While among the antiparasitics are also metronidazole, albendazole, mebendazole, piperazine and nitazoxanide.

Amoxicillin, metronidazole and clarithromycin are antibiotics used in case of stomach pain caused by chronic gastritis with suspected or confirmed infection by Helicobacter pylori.

4. Antidiarrheals

Antidiarrheal drugs work like pills for stomach pain, since they stop the effects of diarrhea. They are responsible for inhibiting the motility of the intestine, which increases the permanence of feces in the intestinal lumen, promoting its hardening.

They are for occasional use, since in case of diarrhoea, only general measures are recommended, such as staying hydrated with plenty of water, rehydration salts and homemade serum, in addition to an anti-diarrheal diet.

Among the most used are the following:

  • Loperamide.
  • bismuth subsalicylate.
  • Pectin.


5. Antiflatulent

Antiflatulents take care of inhibit excess intestinal gas, a product of metabolism. They relieve stomach pain, as they reduce the accumulation of flatus. These include simethicone and dimethicone.

6. Antacids

Antacids improve stomach pain, because they work as gastric protectors. There are acid production inhibitors, such as pantoprazole, lansoprazole and omeprazole. These drugs are used in gastric ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux and gastritis.

On the other hand, calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and magnesium hydroxide function as a chemical buffer decreasing stomach acidity by neutralizing acids.

And sucralfate or bismuth salts also work as gastric protectors, but in a different way. Create a protective barrier that prevents the acid from coming into direct contact with the wall of the organs.

7. Intestinal motility stimulants

These medicines for stomach pain are used when the source of the discomfort is constipation, slowing of gastric emptying (feeling of fullness) or in the presence of reflux and vomiting.

They accelerate the gastrointestinal transit, therefore, the content remains in contact with the gastric and intestinal walls for less time. These include domperidone, metoclopramide, and cisapride.

8. Laxatives

Laxatives act in case of stomach pain due to constipation, through different mechanisms. There are thickeners or mass formers, such as metamucil, which absorb more fluid in the intestines and increase the bulk of the stool.

Softeners, on the other hand, are responsible for lubricating and softening the stool formed to make it easier to evacuate. On the other hand, osmotic laxatives (such as milk of magnesia, lactulose, or sorbitol) cause fluid retention in the intestines, making the stool softer and easier to pass. They should be consumed with plenty of water.

Lastly, the stimulant laxatives (bisacodyl) cause irritation of the intestinal mucosa, with the consequent increase in intestinal transit, accelerating the emptying of feces.

9. Probiotics

Finally, we have probiotics, which do not in themselves have a mechanism to improve stomach pain, but They are supplements with beneficial microorganisms for the intestinal flora. In the long term, they regulate intestinal transit and indirectly calm discomfort related to abdominal pain due to alterations in the microbiota.

Probiotics don’t just exist as drugs. Many foods fulfill the same function naturally.

Is it always necessary to take medicine and pills for stomach pain?

It is the doctor, after the evaluation, who decides which medicines for stomach pain are necessary. In the case of children, the drugs are the same as for adults, but their doses and presentations vary.

On the other hand, children have less body water, so they are more prone to dehydration. Based on this, special precautions should be taken against infant diarrhea.

Many times, stomach pain improves when simple, everyday steps are taken. It is good to opt for a diet that is free of processed sugars and high-fat foods. In addition to avoiding alcoholic or carbonated beverages.

If the discomfort is persistent and does not improve with changes in eating habits, then you should see a doctor.

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