What is the pathophysiology of medication-induced esophagitis?

Updated: May 28, 2020
  • Author: Deepika Devuni, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Medications associated with pill esophagitis cause damage by local or topical injury. [10, 11, 12] Antibiotics, potassium chloride, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), quinidine, emperonium bromide, and alendronate account for 90% of the reported cases. The following are important pill and patient factors:

  • Chemical nature of drug
  • Solubility
  • Contact time with mucosa
  • Size, shape, and pill coating
  • Amount of water (ie, too little) taken to swallow pill (eg, alendronate)
  • Preexisting esophageal pathology (eg, stricture, achalasia)

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