Q. Is it possible to get pancreatitis because of Escitalopram?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad M. Hanif Md.
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 19, 2019

Hi doctor,

My dad is suffering from acute pancreatitis. It started six days ago and he is getting better now but he used to take antidepressants like Escitalopram and Ezeepam and he has been taking these kinds of anxiety medicines from a long time but not continuously but from last six months the usage has increased. He is unable to sleep properly and he is getting restless. He is asking for that medicine but we think that it could be a reason for his sudden acute pancreatitis as alcohol and gallstones are ruled out. Please suggest what should we do.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have reviewed your query and can understand your concerns. The patient cannot stop the medications at his own. It is always best to inform the treating physician before thinking of changing or stopping medications. There is a specific protocol to taper off Escitalopram. If stopped taking all of a sudden, patient may feel bad side effects.

I would recommend consulting his prescribing psychiatrist for proper evaluation and management. There are other causes that may also be considered before Escitalopram. Parathyroid gland function testing and calcium levels in blood, smoking and other factors also need attention. Escitalopram is not so commonly documented cause of acute pancreatitis. The de-challenge test is done for drugs which are suspected as a cause of pancreatitis. But this is a very rare cause of pancreatitis. So, undue withdrawal can only complicate the situation. His physician can better explain him after having the benefit of physical examination and a detailed hand on access to his medical records.

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