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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 56

of 'Etiology of acute pancreatitis'

Drug-induced pancreatitis.
Wilmink T, Frick TW
Drug Saf. 1996;14(6):406.
Few data exist about the incidence of drug-induced pancreatitis in the general population. 20 cases of drug-related pancreatitis were reported in Switzerland over a period of 12 years. The proportion of cases of pancreatitis caused by drugs is estimated to be around 2% in the general population, with much higher proportions in specific subpopulations, such as children and patients who are HIV positive. The literature about drug-induced pancreatitis consists mainly of anecdotal case reports. Clear evidence of a definite association with pancreatitis, by means of rechallenge tests, or consistent case reports, supported by animal experiments or data on the incidence of acute pancreatitis in drug trials exists for didanosine, valproic acid (sodium valproate), aminosalicylates, estrogen, calcium, anticholinesterases and sodium stibogluconate. An association with drug-induced pancreatitis is likely but not definitely proven for thiazide diuretics, pentamidine, ACE inhibitors, asparaginase, vinca alkaloids, some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and clozapine. Pancreatitis is possibly caused by azathioprine, furosemide (frusemide), tetracycline, metronidazole, isoniazid, rifampicin (rifampin), sulphonamides, cyclosporin and some antineoplastic drugs. Many drugs have been reported to be associated with acute pancreatitis. However, lack of rechallenge evidence, consistent statistical data, or evidence from experimental studies on a possible mechanism prohibit definitive conclusions about most of them. The high incidence of concurrentillnesses known to induce acute pancreatitis, makes a trigger role or co-factor role for the drug seem most likely.
Department of Surgery, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, England.