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Pancreatitis

AMBULATORY CARE:

Pancreatitis

is inflammation of your pancreas. The pancreas is an organ that makes insulin. It 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.

Pancreas

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Severe burning, stabbing, or aching pain that starts in the top of your abdomen and spreads to your back
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdomen that is tender to the touch
  • Weight loss without trying

Call your doctor if:

  • You have severe pain in your abdomen and you are vomiting.
  • You have a fever.
  • You continue to lose weight without trying.
  • Your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Antibiotics may be given to treat a bacterial infection.

Self-care:

  • Rest when you feel it is needed. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your usual activities as directed.
  • Do not drink any alcohol. If you need help to stop drinking, contact the following organization:
    • Alcoholics Anonymous
      Web Address: http://www.aa.org
  • Ask your healthcare provider or dietitian about the best foods to eat. You may need to eat foods that are low in fat if you have chronic pancreatitis.
  • Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Pancreatitis (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

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