WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas is inflamed. The pancreas is an organ that makes insulin. The pancreas also makes enzymes (digestive juices) that help your body digest food. Pancreatitis may be an acute (short-term) problem that happens only once. It may become a chronic (long-term) problem that comes and goes over time.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Rest: You may feel like resting more. Rest when you feel it is needed. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your normal activities when you feel better.
- Do not drink alcohol: Alcohol may make your pancreatitis worse. Even if your pancreatitis goes away, alcohol may cause it to occur again. If you need help, contact the following organization for information on how to quit drinking alcohol:
- Alcoholics Anonymous
Web Address: http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Nutrition: You may be told to eat foods that are low in fat if you have chronic pancreatitis. This may be needed because damage to the pancreas prevents it from making enough enzymes needed to digest fat.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have severe pain in your abdomen and you are vomiting.
- You continue to lose weight.
- Your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have a fever.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.