Abdominal pain with rigidity secondary to the anti-emetic drug metoclopramide

J Emerg Med. 2006 May;30(4):411-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2005.07.013.


We report a case of abdominal pain with rigidity, mimicking an acute abdomen, caused by metoclopramide, a common anti-emetic drug. Extrapyramidal symptoms are commonly reported side-effects of this medication. They generally include involuntary movements of limbs, torticollis, oculogyric crisis, rhythmic protrusion of tongue, trismus, or dystonic reactions resembling tetanus, etc. Abdominal rigidity due to this medication, resembling an acute abdomen, has not been reported previously. This case report illustrates the importance of considering medication side-effects when evaluating a patient with abdominal pain and rigidity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen, Acute / diagnosis*
  • Abdominal Muscles
  • Abdominal Pain / chemically induced*
  • Abdominal Pain / diagnosis*
  • Adult
  • Antiemetics / adverse effects*
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Chloroquine / therapeutic use
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Vivax / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Metoclopramide / adverse effects*
  • Metoclopramide / therapeutic use
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Muscle Rigidity / chemically induced
  • Muscle Rigidity / drug therapy
  • Procyclidine / therapeutic use


  • Antiemetics
  • Antimalarials
  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Chloroquine
  • Procyclidine
  • Metoclopramide