last updated 22-10-2021



Pancreatitis is accompanied by severe abdominal pain. Depending on the cause and severity of the pancreatitis, pancreatic enzymes can affect their own environment, especially the proteases secreted by the pancreas which are released and activated upon arrival of food in the duodenum. When these enzymes cannot be released into the duodenum, they can cause damage and destruction of the pancreatic tissue itself (autolysis). The decreased function of the pancreas can cause fatty diarrhoea and increased glucose levels (as in diabetes).

An inflammation of the pancreas can have various causes. In acute pancreatitis, gallstones and alcohol account for 70% of cases. Many drugs may give rise to pancreatitis. The following drugs are well-known to cause acute pancreatitis:

  • diuretics like furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide
  • antimicrobial drugs: tetracyclines, sulphonamides, rifampicin, and metronidazole
  • immunosuppressants: corticosteroids, azathioprine, and mercaptopurine
  • oestrogens
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • 5-acetylsalicylic acid agents (mesalazine and olsalazine)
  • miscellaneous: indometacin, enalapril, methyldopa, simvastatin, sodium valproate


All of the following are effective antimicrobial therapies in severe necrotizing pancreatitis except: