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Ultracaps (Oral)

Generic name: pancrelipase [ AM-i-lase, LYE-pase, PROE-tee-ase ]
Brand names: Creon, Palcaps, Pancreaze, Pancrelipase, Pangestyme EC, ... show all 11 brands
Drug class: Digestive enzymes

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 23, 2024.

Uses for Ultracaps

Pancrelipase is used to help improve food digestion in certain conditions (eg, cystic fibrosis, pancreatitis) where the pancreas is not working properly. Pancrelipase contains the enzymes (including lipases, proteases, and amylases) needed for the digestion of proteins, starches, and fats.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before using Ultracaps

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of Creon®, Pancreaze®, Pertzye®, and Zenpep® in children.

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of Ultresa™ in children younger than 12 months of age, and Viokace™ in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established in these age groups.


No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of Creon®, Pancreaze®, and Pertzye® in geriatric patients.

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of Ultresa™, Viokace™, and Zenpep® in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving these medicines.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper use of Ultracaps

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

This medicine comes with a Medication Guide and patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor about anything you do not understand.

Take this medicine with meals or snacks and enough liquid to swallow it completely, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

When prescribing this medicine for your condition, your doctor may also prescribe a personal diet for you. Follow the special diet carefully. This is necessary for the medicine to work properly. It is also important to drink plenty of water while you are on this medicine.

For patients taking the tablets:

For patients taking the delayed-release capsules:

Do not change the brands or dosage forms of pancrelipase without first checking with your doctor. Different products may not work in the same way. If you refill your medicine and it looks different, check with your pharmacist.


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

You may store Creon® capsules at room temperature for 30 days. Throw away any unused medicine after 30 days.

Store the delayed-release capsules in a tightly-closed container to protect them from moisture.

Precautions while using Ultracaps

It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you or your child should continue to take it.

For patients taking the capsules containing the powder:

For patients taking the powder form of this medicine:

Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have unusual or severe abdominal or stomach pain, trouble passing stool, nausea, or vomiting. These may be symptoms of a rare but serious bowel disorder, called fibrosing colonopathy.

This medicine may cause irritation of the inside of your or your child's mouth if it is not swallowed completely, is crushed or chewed, or is mixed into foods that are not recommended. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully to prevent this.

Pancrelipase may increase uric acid levels in the blood. Check with your doctor if you or your child have joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, lower back, side, or stomach pain, or swelling of the feet or lower legs.

This medicine is made from the pancreas of pigs. The risk of getting a virus from medicines made of pig organs has been greatly reduced in recent years. This is the result of required testing for certain viruses, and testing during manufacture of these medicines. Although the risk of transmitting certain viruses to people who will use the medicine is low, talk with your doctor if you or your child have concerns.

This medicine may cause serious types of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hives, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, mouth, or throat while you or your child are using this medicine.

Tell your doctor if you have a history of abnormal blood glucose levels before taking Zenpep®.

Side Effects of Ultracaps

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:


With high doses

With very high doses

With powder dosage form or powder from opened capsules

- if breathed in

With tablets

- if held in the mouth

Incidence not known

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Less common

Incidence not known

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

In Canada

Available Dosage Forms:

Therapeutic Class: Enzyme Replacement

Pharmacologic Class: Enzyme

Frequently asked questions

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.