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Pancreatic Enzymes Oral capsule, gastro-resistant pellets

It helps to improve digestion of food by replacing digestive enzymes

Generic Name: pancrelipase

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.


FDA approved a REMS for pancrelipase to ensure that the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks. However, FDA later rescinded REMS requirements. See the FDA REMS page ([Web]) or the ASHP REMS Resource Center ([Web]).

What is this medicine?

PANCRELIPASE (pan cre LI pase) helps to improve digestion of food by replacing digestive enzymes. This medicine is used to treat health conditions that cause your body to produce less of these enzymes.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • a history of intestinal blockage or a condition called 'fibrosing colonopathy'
  • abnormally high uric acid in the blood
  • diabetes
  • gout
  • kidney disease
  • trouble swallowing capsules
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to pancrelipase, pancreatin, pork, pork protein, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take with food. Do not crush or chew the contents of the capsule. If you or your child have trouble swallowing, you may open the capsule and sprinkle the contents on soft foods that do not require chewing such as applesauce, pureed bananas, or pears. Swallow the mixture right away followed with water or juice. Do not store the mixture. If you are giving this medicine to an infant, you may sprinkle the contents directly into your child's mouth. Give the medicine right before each feeding of formula or breast milk. Do not mix capsule contents directly into formula or breast milk. Make sure the medicine is swallowed completely and that no medicine is left in the mouth. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill of delayed-release capsules (Creon, Zenpep, or Pancreaze). Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this medicine may be prescribed for children for selected conditions precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • acarbose
  • antacids containing calcium or magnesium
  • iron
  • miglitol

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor for regular check ups. Talk to your doctor before you change brands of this medicine. Each brand has different amounts of enzymes.

You may need to be on a special diet while taking this medicine. Also, ask your doctor how much water you need to drink.

This medicine may increase your chance of having a rare bowel disorder. The risk of having this condition may be reduced by following the dosing directions that your healthcare professional gives you. Call your healthcare professional right away if you have any unusual or severe stomach pain.

This medicine may increase blood uric acid levels, for example, worsening of gout, or painful, swollen joints. Call your healthcare professional right away if you have any of these symptoms.

Be careful if you open the capsule. This medicine can irritate the lungs if you breathe it in. Also, do not hold the medicine in your mouth or chew it. This may cause mouth sores.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant.

Last Updated: April 17, 2013
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