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Current Drug Abuse Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1874-4737
ISSN (Online): 1874-4745

Recent Developments in the Treatment of Alcoholic Chronic Pancreatitis

Author(s): Tatsuhiro Tsujimoto, Hideto Kawaratani, Hitoshi Yoshiji, Masahito Uemura and Hiroshi Fukui

Volume 1 , Issue 2 , 2008

Page: [197 - 202] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/1874473710801020197

Price: $58


Chronic pancreatitis is a progressive inflammatory condition characterized by repeated attacks of abdominal pain, and the destruction and fibrosis of the pancreatic parenchyma which causes to reduced exocrine and endocrine functions. Alcohol is the most common cause of chronic pancreatitis. Although abstinence is usually considered a prerequisite for successful treatment of alcoholic chronic pancreatitis, we often encounter patients who have repeated attacks from the compensated stage through the transitional stage. In alcoholic chronic pancreatitis, continued alcohol consumption causes changes in the digestive hormones and vagal nerve function that induce the pancreatic acinar cells to oversecrete protein, increasing the protein concentration and viscosity of the pancreatic juice. This induces protein sedimentation from the pancreatic juice and formation of protein plugs within the pancreatic duct, triggering repeated attacks of acute pancreatitis. The treatment of alcoholic chronic pancreatitis includes alleviation of symptoms, particularly abdominal pain, elimination of trigger factors, prevention of recurrence and disease progression, adjuvant therapies for pancreatic exocrine and endocrine failure. Recently, the main constituent proteins in these protein plugs have been identified, enabling trials of several therapies, such as the administration of secretin formulations and endoscopic removal. Bromhexine hydrochloride, a bronchial mucolytic, has an affinity for the pancreatic acinar cells, inducing them to secrete pancreatic juice of low viscosity. In this review, we summarize the most recent thoughts about alcoholic chronic pancreatitis, and the new treatments, and in particular, we present our findings concerning the efficacy of bromhexine hydrochloride in the treatment of this disease.

Keywords: Alcoholic chronic pancreatitis, lifestyle modification, pharmacotherapy, bromhexine hydrochloride, protein plug

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