Pancreatin is a combination of digestive enzymes (proteins). These enzymes are normally produced by the pancreas and are important for digesting fats, proteins, and sugars.
Pancreatin is used to replace digestive enzymes when the body does not have enough of its own. Certain medical conditions can cause this enzyme deficiency, such as cystic fibrosis, pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, or pancreatic surgery.
Pancreatin can also be used to treat steatorrhea (rare, oily stools).
Pancreatin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not take pancreatin if you are allergic to pork proteins or have a sudden onset of pancreatitis or a worsening of a long-term pancreatic problem.
To make sure that pancreatin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
When it comes to pregnant women, it is unknown whether pancreatin harms the unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without medical advice if you are pregnant.
It is unknown whether pancreatin passes into breast milk or whether it could harm a nursing baby.
Do not use this medicine without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Side effects of pancreatin
Seek emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: rash, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor immediately if you have:
- severe nausea, vomiting or diarrhea,
- severe abdominal pain
- swollen or painful joints
- any changes you notice.
Common side effects include:
- nausea, mild abdominal pain,
- diarrhea or
- mild skin rash.
This is not a complete list of side effects, but others may appear. Call your doctor for medical advice on side effects.
Pancreatin and its interactions
Do not take any other digestive enzyme unless your doctor tells you to.
Avoid taking antacids 1 hour before or after taking pancreatin.
Other medicines may interact with pancreatin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your doctors about all the medicines you are currently taking and about every medicine you start or stop taking.
Dosage of pancreatin
Use it exactly as stated on the package or as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may change the dose you take from time to time to get the best results. Please do not use it in larger or smaller quantities or longer than recommended.
Pancreatin should be taken with a meal or snack.
Take pancreatin with a full glass of water.
Do not hold the tablet in your mouth. The drug can irritate the inside of the mouth.
Do not crush, chew or share pancreatin tablets. Swallow it whole.
You may need frequent blood tests to make sure this medicine helps your condition. You may not notice any change in your symptoms, but your blood test will help your doctor determine how long you will be treated with pancreatin.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or worsen while using pancreatin.
Pancreatin can only be part of a complete treatment program that includes a special diet. Follow the diet plan prescribed by your doctor or nutrition counselor. Familiarize yourself with the list of foods you need to eat or avoid to help control your condition.
Use pancreatin regularly to get the most benefits, and you may need to use this medicine for the rest of your life.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
If your doctor changes the medicine manufacturer, the strength, or the type of pancreatin, your doses may change. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the new type of pancreatin you get at the pharmacy.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember that you have skipped taking pancreatin. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take an extra dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
Always take pancreatin with food.