Do SSRIs cause pancreatitis?

It has been suggested that SSRIs may cause pancreatitis. The Upper Gastrointestinal Research Group at KI with Rickard Ljung as first author (with Christian Rück as a co-author) just published on SSRIs in relation to risk of acute pancreatitis in a population-based case-control study of people aged 40 to 84 years in Sweden. Logistic regression with adjustment for potential confounding factors was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The OR for acute pancreatitis, adjusted for matching variables, was increased among present users of SSRI (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.4-1.7), indicating increased risk. Intrestingly, after adjusting for diseases or medications related to alcohol overconsumption, tobacco smoking, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, obesity, and severe pain together with educational level and marital status, the corresponding OR was 1.1 (95% CI, 1.0-1.3). After adjusting for the number of distinct medications, a proxy for comorbidity, the corresponding OR was 1.0 (95% CI, 0.9-1.1). The OR for antidepressant use other than SSRI showed a similar pattern. In conclusion, no increased risk of acute pancreatitis remained among users of SSRI after adjusting for confounding factors.

Ljung R, Rück C, Mattsson F, Bexelius TS, Lagergren J, Lindblad M. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and the Risk of Acute Pancreatitis: A Swedish Population-Based Case-Control Study.J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2012 Apr 26. [Epub ahead of print]