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Appendicitis Treated With Antibiotics: Care Instructions

Location of appendix in belly, with detail of inflamed appendix.


Appendicitis is one of the causes of serious belly pain. It happens when the appendix, a small sac attached to your large intestine, becomes inflamed.

This condition is usually treated with surgery to remove the appendix. Some cases can be treated with antibiotics.

With antibiotic treatment, there's still a chance that the appendix will need to be removed. This may be after days or months.

You'll need to keep watching your symptoms at home. If they continue or get worse, call your doctor or nurse advice line or get medical care right away. Appendicitis can get serious very quickly.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take your antibiotics as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • Talk to your doctor if you're having trouble with bowel movements. Ask your doctor before taking any over-the-counter laxatives.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Limit physical activities for now. You can keep doing your daily self-care tasks.
  • Your doctor may tell you what you can eat and drink.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse belly pain on your lower right side.
  • You have nausea and don't want to eat.
  • You are vomiting.
  • You have a fever.
  • You cannot pass stools or gas.
  • Your symptoms are getting worse.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.