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Review: famotidine, pizotifen, cognitive behavioural therapy, and peppermint may be effective in recurrent abdominal pain

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 QUESTION: In children, what is the effectiveness of treatments for recurrent abdominal pain (RAP)?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline (1966 to 2001), the Cochrane Clinical Trial registry, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, AMED, PsycINFO, and PubMed via the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; and by reviewing bibliographies of relevant articles using terms including recurrent abdominal pain, functional abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, children, and alternative therapies.

Study selection

English language randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were selected if they were done on children aged ≤18 years with a diagnosis of RAP. Studies not on functional gastrointestinal disorders, and those lacking a control group were excluded.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on participants’ characteristics and heterogeneity, study quality and design, interventions, outcomes, and a study’s adherence to the standardised case definition of RAP (≥3 episodes of abdominal pain occurring over ≥3 mo and …

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  • Source of funding: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • For correspondence: Dr T M Ball, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson, AZ, USA. tball{at}