Affiliation: Pancreas Unit, Department of Digestive Diseases and Internal Medicine, Sant'Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy.
Pain is the main clinical symptom of chronic pancreatitis at its early stages; then the pain tends to disappear during the progression of the disease. Several options have been proposed to treat pain and inflammation in chronic pancreatitis; medical, endoscopic or surgical treatments have been considered, and the controversy surrounding their efficacy is ongoing. One medical option is to use antioxidants for both preventing and curing the flare-ups of chronic pancreatitis. The data regarding this treatment are highly debated; some authors have reported their efficacy in reducing pain and inflammation whereas others have not. We have reviewed the current knowledge and recent patents on this topic and, at present, we do not recommend this therapeutic approach and additional studies are required for reconsidering this interesting therapeutic option.