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Consult Pharm. 2013 Apr;28(4):247-51. doi: 10.4140/TCP.n.2013.247.

Antacid-induced acute pancreatitis.

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  • 1Mercer University College of Health Science, Atlanta, Georgia St. Joseph's Hospital, Atlanta, GA 30041, USA.



To report a case of acute pancreatitis associated with the administration of high doses of over-the-counter (OTC) antacids containing calcium carbonate.


An acute care 276-bed community hospital.


In this case report, a 68-year-old male was admitted to the hospital for nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Patient reported taking 15-20 OTC calcium carbonate (4.5-6.0 g elemental calcium) tablets for four to five days prior to admission. Patient's calcium level upon admission was 18.5 mg/dL. Laboratory values of amylase and lipase peaked at 2,768 U/L and 7,091 U/L, respectively. An abdominal computed tomography confirmed acute pancreatitis. For a period of 45 days, treatment in the intensive care unit for acute pancreatitis and latter for necrotizing pancreatitis was conducted.


This case study supports an association between hypercalcemia and pancreatitis in patients who take greater than recommended dosages of calcium-containing antacids. OTC antacids are popular, but can cause serious adverse events when not used as directed.

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