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May 8, 1967

Toxicity of IndomethacinReport of a Case of Acute Pancreatitis

JAMA. 1967;200(6):552-553. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120190178035

SINCE its recent introduction, the nonsteroidal chemical called indomethacin (1-[p-chlorobenzoyl]-5-methoxy-2-methylindole-3-acetic acid) has been used extensively as a new "antirheumatic"1 drug that has anti-inflammatory,2 analgesic, and antipyretic3 activity. The side effects have been described by various authors. These were usually limited to the central nervous system, with symptoms of headache, vertigo, light-headedness, and disturbed sensorium; and to the gastrointestinal system, with the symptoms of cramping, epigastric pain, and peptic ulceration.4

We found no mention of pancreatic involvement recorded in the literature. In the case being reported, the patient's condition was not associated with biliary tract disease, alcoholism, or any of the other conditions usually considered important in the cause of pancreatitis. We believe this case gives evidence that indomethacin does have a direct and toxic effect on the pancreas.

Report of a Case  A 69-year-old Negro man was admitted to the hospital on Aug 21,