Viokase

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

Viokase is used for:

Improving food digestion in patients who cannot digest food properly because they have a pancreas problem (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) caused by cystic fibrosis or certain other conditions.

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

Do NOT use Viokase if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Viokase, including pork proteins
  • you have inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) or a flare-up of long-term pancreas problems

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 Viokase:

Some medical conditions may interact with Viokase. 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 trypsin, pancreatin, or pancrelipase)
  • if you have gout, high uric acid levels, or a history of kidney problems
  • if you have a history of pancreas problems, stomach or bowel problems (eg, blockage, short bowel syndrome, Crohn disease), or asthma
  • if you have trouble swallowing tablets

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

Ask your health care provider if Viokase 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 Viokase:

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

  • Take Viokase by mouth with each meal or a snack as directed by your doctor.
  • Swallow Viokase whole. Do not break, crush, chew, or hold Viokase in your mouth before swallowing. Doing so may increase the risk of mouth irritation from Viokase.
  • Take Viokase with a full glass of water or other fluid.
  • Do not breathe in any powder from this tablet. It may cause irritation of the nose or throat.
  • Do not change brands or dosage forms of Viokase without first checking with your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of Viokase, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. 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 Viokase.

Important safety information:

  • Viokase may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Viokase with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
  • Viokase 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, or severe or persistent loose stools, constipation, or diarrhea.
  • Viokase 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.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if Viokase can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Viokase while you are pregnant. It is not known if Viokase is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Viokase, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Viokase:

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:

Dizziness; 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); painful, swollen joints; severe or persistent loose stools, diarrhea, or constipation; severe or unusual nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.

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 Viokase:

Store Viokase at room temperature, up to 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Store in the original container away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Viokase out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Viokase, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Viokase 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 Viokase 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 Viokase. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Viokase. 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 Viokase.

Issue Date: November 5, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.002
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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