Drug-induced pancreatitis

Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2012 Apr;14(2):131-8. doi: 10.1007/s11894-012-0245-9.


Drugs are thought to be a rare cause for acute pancreatitis; however 525 different drugs are listed in the World Health Organization (WHO) database suspected to cause acute pancreatitis as a side effect. Many of them are widely used to treat highly prevalent diseases. The true incidence is not entirely clear since only few systematic population based studies exist. The majority of the available data are derived from case reports or case control studies. Furthermore, the causality for many of these drugs remains elusive and for only 31 of these 525 dugs a definite causality was established. Definite proof for causality is defined by the WHO classification if symptoms reoccur upon rechallenge.In the actual algorithm the diagnosis is confirmed if no other cause of acute pancreatitis can be detected, and the patient is taking one of the suspected drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pancreatitis / chemically induced*
  • Pancreatitis / diagnosis
  • Pancreatitis / epidemiology
  • Pancreatitis / therapy
  • Risk Factors