Published online Jun 14, 2020. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i22.2902
Peer-review started: January 24, 2020
First decision: February 27, 2020
Revised: March 27, 2020
Accepted: May 28, 2020
Article in press: May 28, 2020
Published online: June 14, 2020
With over 100000 hospital admissions per annum, acute pancreatitis remains the leading gastrointestinal cause of hospitalization in the United States and has far-reaching impact well beyond. It has become increasingly recognized that drug-induced pancreatitis (DIP), despite accounting for less than 3% of all cases, represents an important and growing though often inconspicuous cause of acute pancreatitis. Nevertheless, knowledge of DIP is often curtailed by the limited availability of evidence needed to implicate given agents, especially for non-prescription medications. Indeed, the majority of available data is derived from case reports, case series, or case control studies. Furthermore, the mechanism of injury and causality for many of these drugs remain elusive as a definitive correlation is generally not established (< 10% of cases). Several classification systems have been proposed, but no single system has been widely adopted, and periodic updates are required in light of ongoing pharmacologic expansion. Moreover, infrequently prescribed medications or those available over-the-counter (including herbal and other alternative remedies) are often overlooked as a potential culprit of acute pancreatitis. Herein, we review the ever-increasing diversity of DIP and the potential mechanisms of injury with the goal of raising awareness regarding the nature and magnitude of this entity. We believe this manuscript will aid in increasing both primary and secondary prevention of DIP, thus ultimately facilitating more expedient diagnosis and a decrease in DIP-related morbidity.
Core tip: Despite living in an era of pharmacologic expansion, our knowledge of drug-induced pancreatitis (DIP) is often curtailed by evidence needed to implicate particular medications. Several causative agent classification systems (with medication lists) have been reported and their mechanisms proposed. Nonetheless, they require regular updates and a complete review of this topic is warranted. In addition, infrequently prescribed medications or those available over-the-counter are often omitted from those summarized lists. We review the ever-increasing diversity of DIP and their potential mechanisms of injury to aid in increasing both primary and secondary prevention of DIP.