Zopiclone use associated with increased risk of acute pancreatitis: a case-control study in Taiwan

Int J Clin Pract. 2015 Nov;69(11):1275-80. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12689. Epub 2015 Jul 1.


Background: The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between zopiclone use and the risk of acute pancreatitis in Taiwan.

Methods: This was a population-based case-control study. The data source was from the database of the Taiwan National Health Insurance Program since 2000-2011. We identified 5169 subjects aged 20-84 years with a first-time attack of acute pancreatitis as the patients and 20,676 sex-matched and age-matched subjects without acute pancreatitis as the controls. Active use of zopiclone was defined as subjects who received at least one prescription for zopiclone within 30 days before the date of diagnosing acute pancreatitis. The lack of zopiclone prescription was defined as 'never use'. We calculated the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) to assess the risk of acute pancreatitis associated with zopiclone use by the multivariable logistic regression model.

Results: After adjustment for potential confounding variables, the adjusted OR of acute pancreatitis was 2.36 for subjects with active use of zopiclone (95% CI 1.70-3.28), as compared with those with never use of zopiclone. In further analysis, as a reference of subjects with never use of zopiclone and without alcohol-related disease and biliary stone, the adjusted OR increased to 14.44 in those with active use of zopiclone and with alcohol-related disease or biliary stone (95% CI 7.47-27.89).

Conclusions: Subjects actively using zopiclone are associated with increased risk of acute pancreatitis. Clinicians should take acute pancreatitis risk into account when prescribing zopiclone, particularly comorbid with alcohol-related disease or biliary stone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / complications
  • Azabicyclo Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / adverse effects*
  • Kidney Calculi / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pancreatitis / chemically induced*
  • Piperazines / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Taiwan
  • Young Adult


  • Azabicyclo Compounds
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Piperazines
  • zopiclone