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Viokace

Generic Name: pancrelipase (pan kre LYE pace)
Brand Name: Creon, Pancreaze, Pertzye, Viokace, Zenpep

Medically reviewed on August 6, 2018

What is pancrelipase?

Pancrelipase is a combination of three enzymes (proteins): lipase, protease, and amylase. These enzymes are normally produced by the pancreas and are important in the digestion of fats, proteins, and sugars.

Pancrelipase is used to replace these enzymes when the body does not have enough of its own. Certain medical conditions can cause this lack of enzymes, including cystic fibrosis, chronic inflammation of the pancreas, or blockage of the pancreatic ducts.

Pancrelipase may also be used following surgical removal of the pancreas.

Pancrelipase may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not take pancrelipase if you are allergic to pork proteins.

Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of a rare but serious bowel disorder: severe or unusual stomach pain, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take pancrelipase if you are allergic to pork proteins.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease;

  • gout;

  • diabetes;

  • a blockage or scarring in your intestines;

  • trouble swallowing pills; or

  • lactose intolerance.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

How should I take pancrelipase?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed. Do not switch brands of this medicine without your doctor's advice.

Pancrelipase should be taken with a meal or snack.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for use provided with your medicine. Be especially careful to follow all directions about giving this medicine to a child. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Do not crush, chew, or break a pancrelipase capsule or tablet. Swallow it whole with a full glass of water.

Do not hold the pill in your mouth. Pancrelipase can irritate the inside of your mouth.

If you cannot swallow a capsule whole, open it and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save it for later use. Do not mix the medicine with infant formula or breast milk.

Do not inhale the powder from a pancrelipase capsule, or allow it to touch your skin. It may cause irritation, especially to your nose and lungs.

Pancrelipase is sometimes given with a stomach acid reducer such as Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, or Protonix. Follow your doctor's instructions about taking all medicines needed to treat your condition.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in weight. Pancrelipase doses are based on weight (especially in children and teenagers), and any changes may affect the dose.

Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep the medicine container tightly closed.

Your medicine bottle may also include a packet or canister of moisture-absorbing preservative. Keep this packet in the bottle at all times.

Call your doctor if you have any worsening of a long-term pancreas problem.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose with your next meal or snack. Do not take two doses at one time.

Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking pancrelipase?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Pancrelipase side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • joint pain or swelling; or

  • symptoms of a rare but serious bowel disorder--severe or unusual stomach pain, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, constipation.

Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using pancrelipase.

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach pain, gas, upset stomach;

  • diarrhea, frequent or abnormal bowel movements;

  • rectal itching;

  • headache;

  • runny or stuffy nose, sore throat; or

  • changes in your blood sugar.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect pancrelipase?

Other drugs may affect pancrelipase, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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

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