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Cureus. 2019 May 16;11(5):e4676. doi: 10.7759/cureus.4676.

Acute Pancreatitis Secondary to Use of Appetite Suppressant: Garcinia cambogia.

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Internal Medicine, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Danville, USA.
Internal Medicine, Jinnah Sindh Medical University, Karachi, PAK.
Surgery, Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, USA.
Internal Medicine, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, USA.


Due to the global epidemic of obesity, weight loss and appetite suppressant herbal products are quite popular. As these medications are not United States Food and Drug Administration-approved and are regulated as dietary supplements, little evidence exists regarding their safety. This case discusses an 82-year-old man with the past medical history of obesity who presented to the emergency department with abdominal pain in the epigastric region. His serum lipase was elevated, and an abdominal computed tomography revealed acute pancreatitis (AP). He reported two episodes of AP in the past. He denied any alcohol use and reported no recent changes in his medications. He reported taking Garcinia cambogia (GC) recently as an appetite suppressant. Due to prior cholecystectomy, no alcohol abuse, no recent changes in medications and recent use of GC, a likely etiology of AP was thought to be secondary to the use of GC. He was treated with bowel rest and intravenous fluid hydration with significant improvement in his symptoms. He was advised to avoid GC in the future. Clinicians should be vigilant in evaluating their patients with AP and should get a meticulous history regarding their use of over-the-counter medications and herbal products.


acute pancreatitis; appetite suppressants; garcinia cambogia; weight loss medications

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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