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Review Article

Med Arch. 2023; 77(4): 281-287

The Efficacy and Safety of Using Opioids in Acute Pancreatitis: an Update on Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Mohamed Almulhim, Qasem Ahmed Almulihi, Hamzah Sadiq Almumtin, Mohammed Hajay Alghanim, Doaa Ali AlAbdulbaqi, Fatimah Ahmed Ali Almulihi.


Background: Most patients with acute pancreatitis (AP) suffer from abdominal pain that requires immediate pain relief, and there are various medication choices available, with opioids being the most prescribed analgesics. Objective: Our objective is to compare the use of opioids with other medications in emergency settings for managing pain in patients with AP. Methods: A systemic search was conducted in electronic databases (PubMed/Medline, Cochrane Library, Embase and Google Scholar) from inception to Feb 2023. All statistical analyses were conducted in Review Manager 5.4.1. The study’s inclusion criteria was then selected. Only those Randomized Controlled Trials were involved that included patients having AP in an emergency setting. A random-effect model was used when heterogeneity was seen to pool the studies, and the result was reported in the Odds Ratio (OR) and Mean Difference (MD) along with the corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI). Narrative analysis was conducted for those variables which did not have sufficient data be included in the quantitative analysis. Results: We include eight Randomized Controlled Trials in our study. The Pooled result showed non-significant differences in adverse effects between the two interventions (OR 1.42 [95% CI 0.62, 3.23]; p value= 0.40; I2= 20%). While overall, significantly additional drugs were used in the control group (OR 0.22 [95% CI 0.06, 0.85]; p value= 0.03; I2= 72%). Pain score and severity levels were also analyzed. We used a narrative approach to analyze the length of stay, mean time to reach significant decrease in pain, and mortality, which were all non-conclusive. We also narratively assessed the Pediatric population. Conclusion: Opioids do not provide significant superiority over other medications and should be avoided due to their addictive nature.

Key words: Acute Pancreatitis, Emergency, Opioids.

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