Amylase, lipase, and protease are normally made by the pancreas to help the body digest food. In the US, pancreatic enzyme products are available as a prescription or in dietary supplements. The enzymes in these products usually come from the pancreas in pigs.
People use prescription pancreatic enzyme products to treat digestion problems that occur when the pancreas has been removed or is not working well. Prescription products are FDA-approved for pancreatic insufficiency. People use supplement products to help with digestion and for other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Prescription pancreatic enzyme products are not the same as supplement pancreatic enzyme products. Prescription products contain a standardized amount of enzymes, while the contents of supplement products vary.
Uses & Effectiveness
- Digestion problems due to a disorder of the pancreas (pancreatic insufficiency). Taking prescription pancreatic enzyme products by mouth improves the absorption of fat, protein, and energy in people with who are unable to digest food properly due to cystic fibrosis, pancreas removal, or pancreas swelling (pancreatitis). It's not clear if non-prescription pancreatic products help.
There isn't enough reliable information to know if pancreatic enzyme SUPPLEMENTS are safe.
Special Precautions and Warnings
There isn't enough reliable information to know if pancreatic enzyme SUPPLEMENTS are safe. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if pancreatic enzyme products are safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use unless prescribed to you by a healthcare professional.
Children: Prescription pancreatic enzyme products are likely safe when taken by mouth under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Be sure to follow the prescribed dosing instructions. Taking prescription pancreatic enzyme products in amounts greater than prescribed is possibly unsafe. There isn't enough reliable information to know if pancreatic enzyme SUPPLEMENTS are safe.
Diabetes: Pancreatic enzyme products might make it harder for some people with diabetes to control their blood sugar. Monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use pancreatic enzyme products.
Acarbose (Precose, Prandase) interacts with PANCREATIC ENZYME PRODUCTS
Pancreatic enzyme products might break down acarbose, removing it from the body. This might reduce the effects of acarbose.
Be cautious with this combination
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.