Viokace

Generic Name: pancrelipase (PAN-kree-LYE-pase)
Brand Name: Viokace

Viokace is used for:

Improving food digestion in patients who cannot digest food properly because they have a pancreas problem (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) caused by inflammation of the pancreas that lasts a long time (chronic pancreatitis) or the removal of the pancreas. It is used along with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) (eg, omeprazole). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Viokace is a digestive enzyme combination. It works by helping the body to digest protein, starch, and fat.

Do NOT use Viokace if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Viokace

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 2014 Update: First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using Viokace:

Some medical conditions may interact with Viokace. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances (including pork proteins)
  • if you have gout or high uric acid levels
  • if you have a history of kidney problems, high blood sugar, or diabetes
  • if you have a history of pancreas problems, stomach or bowel problems (eg, blockage, scarring, thickening, short bowel syndrome, Crohn disease), or if you have had bowel surgery
  • if you are lactose intolerant
  • if you have trouble swallowing tablets

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Viokace. However, no specific interactions with Viokace are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if Viokace may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Viokace:

Use Viokace as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Viokace comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get Viokace refilled.
  • Take Viokace by mouth with each meal or a snack as directed by your doctor. Be sure not to take more tablets in a day than the number your doctor tells you to take.
  • Swallow Viokace whole with enough liquid to swallow it completely. Do not break, crush, chew, or hold Viokace in your mouth before swallowing. Doing so may increase the risk of mouth or tongue irritation from Viokace. Contact your doctor if you experience mouth or tongue irritation while taking Viokace.
  • Viokace is used along with another medicine called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) (eg, omeprazole). Be sure to take the PPI as directed by your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of Viokace, skip the missed dose and take the next dose with the next meal or snack as directed. Do not take 2 doses at once or take a dose without a snack or a meal.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Viokace.

Important safety information:

  • Follow the dietary guidelines given to you by your health care provider.
  • Do NOT take more or less than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
  • Do not switch between Viokace and another pancreatic enzyme medicine without first checking with your doctor.
  • Viokace may increase the risk of developing a rare, serious condition called fibrosing colonopathy. When this occurs, it is usually with high doses over a long period of time. It has been most commonly reported in children with cystic fibrosis. Contact your doctor right away if you experience unusual or severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; stomach bloating; or severe or persistent loose stools, constipation, or diarrhea.
  • Viokace comes from pork (pig) pancreas tissue. There is an extremely rare risk of developing a viral disease from this product. No cases of viral disease from pork pancreas products have been identified.
  • Diabetes patients - Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Viokace is not approved for use in CHILDREN. Use of Viokace in children may result in poor nutrition and slowing of growth. Other pancreatic enzyme dosage forms (eg, delayed release, enteric coated) may be preferred for use in children. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if Viokace can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Viokace while you are pregnant. It is not known if Viokace is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Viokace, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Viokace:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Anal itching; gas; headache; stomach pain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); mouth irritation; painful, swollen joints; severe or persistent loose stools, diarrhea, or constipation; severe or unusual nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; stomach bloating.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Viokace:

Store Viokace at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store in the original container with the lid tightly closed and away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not remove any moisture control packs that may come in the bottle. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Viokace out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Viokace, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Viokace is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Viokace or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Viokace. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Viokace. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Viokace.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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