Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Pain in the stomach area can have many causes. Nausea and heartburn are often the first symptoms that manifest themselves in the case of a poor diet for the stomach. Alcohol, tobacco or spicy and greasy food can also really put a strain on the stomach.

In our big test of medicines for stomach pain 2021, we take a close look at what medicines are currently available. We want to provide you with the necessary information so that you know what to look for when buying and what alternatives there are to medicines. We also tell you when you should see a doctor for stomach pain.




The most important facts

  • Medicines for stomach pain come in different forms and for different symptoms. When buying a medicine, make sure you choose one that is suitable for your symptoms.
  • Medicines are often divided into herbal and pharmacological remedies. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages.
  • In addition to taking medicines for stomach pain, it is also helpful to avoid alcohol and tobacco. There are also a number of home remedies that are supposed to help with the symptoms.

The Best Medication for stomach pain: Our Pick

Buying and evaluation criteria for stomach pain medicine

When buying medicine for stomach pain, you can look at several aspects, such as:

By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you are not giving your body something it does not need. Therefore, always look for high quality and ask to see the manufacturer's certificates if necessary.

Dosage form

Medicines for stomach pain come in different forms. You can get liquids that can be dosed in drops. Tablets and capsules are just as suitable for taking. These are also available as chewable tablets or lozenges to suck on.

Other options are medicinal teas, which are very popular for stomach pain. These can also be used in combination with other medicines.

Tolerance

The tolerance of medicines is different for each person. As a rule, medicines for stomach pain are well tolerated by most people.

Also pay attention to the information for allergy sufferers.

Since these complaints affect many people, work is constantly being done on even more tolerable products.

If you have an intolerance, it may be worth trying a different remedy. Teas are usually a gentle option, but it takes longer for them to start working. Otherwise, it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking medication in such cases.

Indications

Medicines for stomach pain usually have a soothing effect on the entire stomach region. Some are aimed at a soothing effect, which is often the case with herbal remedies and teas. Others are aimed specifically at certain complaints.

In this case, it is worth consulting a doctor or pharmacist, who can often recommend a suitable medication.

Stomach pain is often associated with heartburn, which causes nausea. There is a wide range of targeted medicines for this. Cramps, bloating and diarrhoea can also be related to stomach pain, so other medicines can try to help.

Package size

The pack size can vary a lot and also depend a lot on the dosage form. A 10 milliliter bottle, which is the standard in this area, is enough for several hundred drops. Tablet packs can range from a few tablets to hundreds.

Depending on how you estimate your need for the medicine, you should also choose the pack size. Smaller packs are good for testing whether the product is well tolerated. If you are satisfied and have chronic stomach pain, a large pack may be worth the price.

Other ingredients

The medicines can differ greatly from one manufacturer to another. It is important to pay attention to whether the medicine is herbal or pharmacological.

Organic and ecologically certified products usually contain only natural ingredients.

Other ingredients can be added to both, for example, to make them last longer.

It often happens that lactose is contained in such medicines. For allergy sufferers, it is therefore important to pay attention to which other ingredients have been added.

The same is true for vegetarians and vegans who want to avoid gelatin. This is often contained in the capsules.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying medicine for stomach pain

In order to provide you with comprehensive information about the effectiveness of medicines for stomach pain and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What are medicines for stomach pain and how do they work?

This type of medicine is used to treat stomach pain. Depending on how the pain manifests itself, it makes sense to take certain medicines(1). Therefore, the medicine should be chosen based on the symptoms.

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Extracts from herbs and roots, such as ginger root, are often used to treat stomach pain. (Source: sentot setyasiswanto / Unsplash)

The medicines can be divided into two groups. Firstly, medicines, which are usually only available in pharmacies, and herbal medicines, in which the active ingredients of plants are processed(2, 3). Both have their advantages and disadvantages. In the following we will explain the exact differences between the two.

Mode of action of pharmacological medicines for stomach pain

Pharmacological medicines are particularly worthwhile for acute pain. They promise a quick relief of the pain and can be applied very well to the corresponding symptoms(4).

It should be noted that they should not be taken permanently, but only as long as the pain is present. It is also advisable to consult a doctor, as such medicines can also have unpleasant side effects and are unsuitable for some allergy sufferers.

How herbal medicines work for stomach pain

Herbal medicines are often used for chronic pain. The symptoms can often vary and be of different severity. They usually aim to relax the gastrointestinal tract, relieve cramps and thus ease the discomfort(5).

Since they are herbal-based, taking them over a longer period of time is not a problem in many cases. Nevertheless, the package leaflet should be searched for side effects and information for allergy sufferers.

When and for whom is it useful to take medicines for stomach pain?

It only makes sense to take medication on your own if the pain is not caused by an illness. For example, in case of heartburn or nausea from eating or travelling(6, 7). If the pain is severe, it is important to see a doctor.

It depends very much on your complaints and the associated symptoms whether it is worth taking a medicine.

If the pain is chronic, it may make sense to try some medicines to see if there is a well-tolerated and helpful remedy on the market. For special groups like children or pregnant women, there are also special medicines available that work more gently(8).

What medicines for stomach pain are available without a prescription?

A large number of medicines for stomach pain can be bought without a prescription. Since this pain is not uncommon for many people, there is a large and varied range of different medicines.

The pharmacy is probably the best place to get information about this.

What types of medicines are there for stomach pain?

There are many different types of medicines for stomach pain. In the following section, you will find a comprehensive list of all possible variations of these medicines.

  • Liquids
  • Tablets and capsules
  • Teas

To help you choose the type of stomach pain medicine that is best for you, we will now go into detail about the different types.

Liquids

Liquid medicines are very popular for stomach pain. They usually come in small vials that have a pipette for dosing. The medicine can then be measured out and taken drop by drop.

They are often a mixture of bitter substances and antispasmodics that are supposed to relax the gastric tract. They are also easy to take, which makes it easier if children are to take the medicine.

Tablets and capsules

This classic form of medicine is of course also available for stomach pain. The tablets or capsules are taken orally and swallowed with a glass of water. These medicines are often very concentrated and suitable for acute treatment.

Teas

Teas are a popular remedy for gastrointestinal complaints. Both soothing herbal teas and medicinal teas from the pharmacy can counteract minor complaints(9).

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Many herbs are said to have a relaxing and pain-relieving effect on the digestive tract. (Source: scym / Pixabay)

The disadvantage is that they have a somewhat uncertain effect and therefore do not work for all symptoms. In addition, it usually takes time for them to work and you may have to take a lot of them.

How should medicines for stomach pain be dosed?

Very differently, depending on the medicine used and the severity of the pain. In most cases, you will find a recommended dosage in the package insert of the medication.

Even if the medication is over-the-counter, it should not be taken arbitrarily; if the pain is severe, it is always worth consulting a doctor first. To start with, it is advisable to take a small amount of the medicine and wait to see how the effect develops.

What should I watch out for when taking medicine for stomach pain?

It is best to take the medicine with water. It is also advisable to eat little or nothing after taking the medicine and to drink only water and tea at first. Spicy foods, alcohol and fatty foods in particular only put unnecessary strain on the stomach.

To follow Recommended intake
Avoid Alcohol, tobacco, spicy and fatty food
Helpful Water, tea, fruit and vegetables, wholemeal products

Are medicines for stomach pain suitable for pregnant women and children?

Many medicines for stomach pain are also well tolerated by pregnant women and children, as long as they are only taken when symptoms are present(10). If you are unsure, it is advisable to study the package leaflet and seek advice from a doctor or pharmacist if necessary.

When should a doctor be consulted for stomach pain?

As soon as the pain is severe or not only in the stomach area, it is always a good idea to consult a doctor. If the stomach pain is caused by an illness, medication can only help to a limited extent.

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If you have severe pain in the stomach area, you should always see a doctor. (Source: Olliss / Unsplash)

Severe heartburn can also cause damage to the body over a long period of time. That's why you shouldn't be afraid to see a doctor even if you have known symptoms, if they last for a long time.

What are the alternatives to medicines for stomach pain?

In addition to taking medication, there are other remedies that can help with stomach pain, depending on the type of symptoms and the underlying cause. In the following, we will tell you about the most common treatments for stomach pain.

Treatment options

Therapy can also help with chronic stomach pain. These are usually offered by specialised clinics.

If you are interested in therapy, it is worth consulting a doctor.

In this case, drug treatment is combined with physiological and psychiatric treatment.

The exact composition of a therapy depends on the patient and his or her respective complaints. The focus is on dietary advice, which is brought into line with the possibilities of therapy.

Diet

Because stomach pain is often caused by poor nutrition, it can be helpful to pay attention to what you eat. Even abstaining from alcohol, tobacco and drugs can do the stomach a lot of good.

Otherwise, fruits and vegetables in particular are great for the stomach because they don't put unnecessary strain on it and are easy to digest(11). Another good change in diet is to eat whole-grain products, which additionally strengthens the stomach and digestive tract.

Home remedy

Because stomach pain is a very old phenomenon and probably everyone experiences it at some point, some home remedies have become established over time.

Home remedies can be very effective for minor complaints.

Everyone must decide for themselves whether they are helpful, but it should not hurt to try them out.

The most popular are various herbal teas, such as peppermint, chamomile, caraway or fennel, but mineral water and apple spritzer are also recommended. Otherwise, warm compresses around the belly or herbal oils applied to the belly are said to help.

Image source: Pop Nukoonrat /123rf.com

References (11)

1. Gibson L, Saeed SA, Turner-Henson A. Stomach pain. Pediatr Nurs. 2007;33(2):136-137
Source

2. Natesan S, Lee J, Volkamer H, Thoureen T. Evidence-Based Medicine Approach to Abdominal Pain. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2016;34(2):165-190. doi:10.1016/j.emc.2015.12.008
Source

3. Anheyer D, Frawley J, Koch AK, et al. Herbal Medicines for Gastrointestinal Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Pediatrics. 2017;139(6):e20170062. doi:10.1542/peds.2017-0062
Source

4. Smith J, Fox SM. Pediatric Abdominal Pain: An Emergency Medicine Perspective. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2016;34(2):341-361. doi:10.1016/j.emc.2015.12.010
Source

5. Luo Y, Wang CZ, Sawadogo R, Tan T, Yuan CS. Effects of Herbal Medicines on Pain Management. Am J Chin Med. 2020;48(1):1-16. doi:10.1142/S0192415X20500019
Source

6. Shian B, Larson ST. Abdominal Wall Pain: Clinical Evaluation, Differential Diagnosis, and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2018;98(7):429-436.
Source

7. Avegno J, Carlisle M. Evaluating the Patient with Right Upper Quadrant Abdominal Pain. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2016;34(2):211-228. doi:10.1016/j.emc.2015.12.011
Source

8. Iyer R, Nallasamy K. Child with Abdominal Pain. Indian J Pediatr. 2018;85(1):71-76. doi:10.1007/s12098-017-2447-5
Source

9. Fifi AC, Axelrod CH, Chakraborty P, Saps M. Herbs and Spices in the Treatment of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Review of Clinical Trials. Nutrients. 2018;10(11):1715. Published 2018 Nov 9. doi:10.3390/nu10111715
Source

10. Leclercq WK, Uittenbogaart M, Niemarkt HJ, van Laar JO. Pregnant patient with acute abdominal pain and previous bariatric surgery. BMJ Case Rep. 2019;12(8):e228962. Published 2019 Aug 21. doi:10.1136/bcr-2018-228962
Source

11. Altobelli E, Del Negro V, Angeletti PM, Latella G. Low-FODMAP Diet Improves Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: A Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2017;9(9):940. Published 2017 Aug 26. doi:10.3390/nu9090940
Source

Why you can trust me?

Stomach pain
Gibson L, Saeed SA, Turner-Henson A. Stomach pain. Pediatr Nurs. 2007;33(2):136-137
Go to source
Evidence-Based Medicine Approach to Abdominal Pain
Natesan S, Lee J, Volkamer H, Thoureen T. Evidence-Based Medicine Approach to Abdominal Pain. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2016;34(2):165-190. doi:10.1016/j.emc.2015.12.008
Go to source
Herbal Medicines for Gastrointestinal Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review
Anheyer D, Frawley J, Koch AK, et al. Herbal Medicines for Gastrointestinal Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Pediatrics. 2017;139(6):e20170062. doi:10.1542/peds.2017-0062
Go to source
Pediatric Abdominal Pain: An Emergency Medicine Perspective
Smith J, Fox SM. Pediatric Abdominal Pain: An Emergency Medicine Perspective. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2016;34(2):341-361. doi:10.1016/j.emc.2015.12.010
Go to source
Effects of Herbal Medicines on Pain Management
Luo Y, Wang CZ, Sawadogo R, Tan T, Yuan CS. Effects of Herbal Medicines on Pain Management. Am J Chin Med. 2020;48(1):1-16. doi:10.1142/S0192415X20500019
Go to source
Abdominal Wall Pain: Clinical Evaluation, Differential Diagnosis, and Treatment
Shian B, Larson ST. Abdominal Wall Pain: Clinical Evaluation, Differential Diagnosis, and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2018;98(7):429-436.
Go to source
Evaluating the Patient with Right Upper Quadrant Abdominal Pain
Avegno J, Carlisle M. Evaluating the Patient with Right Upper Quadrant Abdominal Pain. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2016;34(2):211-228. doi:10.1016/j.emc.2015.12.011
Go to source
Child with Abdominal Pain
Iyer R, Nallasamy K. Child with Abdominal Pain. Indian J Pediatr. 2018;85(1):71-76. doi:10.1007/s12098-017-2447-5
Go to source
Herbs and Spices in the Treatment of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Review of Clinical Trials
Fifi AC, Axelrod CH, Chakraborty P, Saps M. Herbs and Spices in the Treatment of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: A Review of Clinical Trials. Nutrients. 2018;10(11):1715. Published 2018 Nov 9. doi:10.3390/nu10111715
Go to source
Pregnant patient with acute abdominal pain
Leclercq WK, Uittenbogaart M, Niemarkt HJ, van Laar JO. Pregnant patient with acute abdominal pain and previous bariatric surgery. BMJ Case Rep. 2019;12(8):e228962. Published 2019 Aug 21. doi:10.1136/bcr-2018-228962
Go to source
Low-FODMAP Diet Improves Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: A Meta-Analysis
Altobelli E, Del Negro V, Angeletti PM, Latella G. Low-FODMAP Diet Improves Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms: A Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2017;9(9):940. Published 2017 Aug 26. doi:10.3390/nu9090940
Go to source
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