Post-marketing reports of pancreatitis in eluxadoline-treated patients pre and post US label change

Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2021 Apr 10;14:17562848211001725.doi: 10.1177/17562848211001725. eCollection 2021.

Brooks D Cash 1, Brian E Lacy 2, Cheryl Watton 3, Philip S Schoenfeld 4, Darren Weissman 5


Author information

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 6431 Fannin Street, MSB 4.234, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
  • 2Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, USA.
  • 3Former employee of Allergan plc, Irvine, CA, USA.
  • 4Division of Gastroenterology, John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Detroit, MI, USA.
  • 5Global Patient Safety and Epidemiology, AbbVie Inc., Madison, NJ, USA.


Background: Eluxadoline, a United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D), underwent a change to its US prescribing information on 21 April 2017, contraindicating it in patients without a gallbladder due to increased risk of pancreatitis. This study aimed to elucidate the potential role of eluxadoline's label change on the number of reported spontaneous adverse events (AEs) of pancreatitis.

Methods: A pharmacovigilance database (Oracle Argus) was searched for eluxadoline use and spontaneously reported pancreatitis cases from 1 January 2016 to 30 June 2018. Pancreatitis cases were reported as a proportion of the total number of reported AE cases in the safety database. The FDA's adverse event reporting system (AERS) was also interrogated for cases of pancreatitis concomitantly reported with eluxadoline use.

Results: In patients who received eluxadoline, 273 reported cases of pancreatitis were recorded (total AEs n = 2191; 12.5%). When known, 28.2% of patients reporting pancreatitis had intact gallbladders (49/174). Eluxadoline was withdrawn in 97.5% of cases, with 87.1% of patients improving or recovered at time of reporting. Importantly, the reporting proportion of pancreatitis cases decreased from 14.4% to 8.9% post label change. Findings were supported by the AERS results, which demonstrated a decrease in reporting proportion from 21.2% to 12.8%.

Conclusions: While cautious interpretation is warranted, post-marketing data indicate that the contraindication of eluxadoline in patients without a gallbladder led to reduced reported cases of pancreatitis, with no additional reports of moderately severe or severe cases. Eluxadoline is a safe and well-tolerated treatment option for IBS-D when used according to the label.

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