Pills for stomach pain include antidiarrheals, antispasmodics, antacids and others. Learn about 9 of them in this article.
There are various medicines and pills for stomach pain. All of these should be prescribed by the gastroenterologist.
In fact, there are many possible causes of stomach pain. These include the following:
- Intestinal malabsorption
- Food poisoning
- Intestinal poisoning
- Intolerance to any food
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
- Chronic gastritis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
With this in mind, in order to refer to the various medicines and pills for stomach pain, we will use the classification according to their regular use. These are the nine most commonly used groups.
1. Pills for stomach pain: Antispasmodics
Antispasmodics are used for intestinal disorders because they relax the smooth muscle of the stomach, allowing the painful and involuntary contraction (spasms) to be stopped or prevented. Thus, they are useful when the pain is of the colic type.
Overall, the most well-known antispasmodics are the following:
- Papaverine hydrochloride
2. Anti-inflammatory drugs
Anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit the inflammatory cascade produced by the release of cytokines. They are indicated when stomach pain is the result of intestinal inflammation, as in the case of inflammatory bowel disease. The most commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory pills for stomach pain are metamizole and mesalazine.
Antimicrobials are indicated when it is known that the origin of the gastrointestinal discomfort is due to the presence of an intestinal infection. It may be bacterial, viral or parasitic. The drug to be used in this case to treat stomach pain depends on the micro-organism in question.
In the case of bacteria, antibiotics are usually indicated. However, in the case of parasitic infections, antiparasitics are usually prescribed. On the other hand, in viral infections, only general measures to relieve symptoms are usually indicated.
The most commonly used antibiotics are ciprofloxacin, doxicillin and metronidazole. Antiparasitics include metronidazole, albendazole, mebendazole, piperazine and nitazoxanide.
Finally, amoxicillin, metronidazole and clarithromycin are antibiotics used in cases of stomach pain caused by chronic gastritis with suspected or confirmed Helicobacter pylori infection.
4. Pills for stomach pain: Antidiarrheal drugs
Antidiarrheal medications work like stomach pain pills by stopping the effects of diarrhoea. They inhibit bowel motility, which increases the permanence of stool in the intestinal lumen, promoting its hardening.
They are not often recommended by doctors, as only general measures such as keeping hydrated with lots of water, rehydration salts and home remedies are recommended in case of diarrhoea, in addition to an anti-diarrhoeal diet.
However, the doctor may recommend one of the following:
- Bismuth hyposalicylate
Anti-inflammatories are responsible for inhibiting excess intestinal gases, which are a product of metabolism. Basically, they relieve stomach pain by reducing the accumulation of gases.
- Among them, we find simethicone and dimethicone.
Antacids improve stomach pain because they act as gastric protectors. There are acid production inhibitors such as pantoprazole, lansoprazole and omeprazole. Usually, these drugs are used in gastric ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease and gastritis.
On the other hand, calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and magnesium hydroxide act as a chemical plug, reducing the acidity of the stomach by neutralising acids.
Finally, sucralfate or bismuth salts also act as gastric protectors, but in a different way. They create a protective barrier that prevents the acid from coming into direct contact with the wall of the stomach organ.
7. Stimulants for intestinal motility
These pills for stomach pain are used when the origin of the discomfort is constipation, slowing down of gastric emptying (feeling of fullness) or in the presence of reflux and vomiting.
They accelerate gastrointestinal transit so that the contents remain in contact with the gastric and intestinal wall for less time. These drugs include domperidone, metoclopramide and cisapride.
8. Pills for stomach pain: Purgatives
Laxatives act on stomach pain due to constipation through different mechanisms. There are thickeners or volume formers, which absorb more fluid in the intestine and increase the volume of stool.
On the other hand, emollients are responsible for lubricating and softening the formed stools to make them easier to evacuate. Meanwhile, osmotic laxatives (such as lactulose or sorbitol) cause fluid retention in the intestine, which makes stools softer and easier to expel. However, they should be consumed with plenty of water.
Finally, stimulant laxatives create irritation of the intestinal mucosa, resulting in an increase in intestinal transit, thus speeding up stool emptying.
Finally, we have probiotics, which by themselves do not have a mechanism to improve stomach pain. However, they are full of beneficial microorganisms for the intestinal flora.
In the long term, they help regulate intestinal transit and indirectly soothe discomfort associated with abdominal pain due to changes in the microbiota.
Is it always necessary to take medicines and pills for stomach pain?
After evaluation, your doctor should decide which medications are necessary for your stomach pain. In the case of children, the medications are the same as those for adults, but their doses and presentations differ.
On the other hand, the amount of body water in children is less, so they are more prone to dehydration. Because of this, special care must be taken when treating diarrhoea in children.
Many times, stomach pain improves when simple, daily measures are taken. It is good to choose a diet free of processed sugars and high-fat foods, in addition to avoiding alcoholic or carbonated beverages such as soft drinks.
Finally, if the discomfort is persistent and does not improve with changes in your eating habits, then it is important to consult a doctor.