PANCREATIC ENZYME PRODUCTS

OTHER NAME(S):

Enzyme Therapy, Fungal Pancreatin, Pancreatic Enzyme Formulation, Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy (PERT), Pancreatic Enzymes, Pancreatin, Pancreatina, Pancréatine, Pancréatine Fongique, Pancreatinum, Pancreatis Pulvis, Pancrelipase, Thérapie Enzymatique.<br/><br/>

Overview

Overview Information

Pancreatic enzyme products are usually obtained from the pancreas of pigs. Sometimes they come from the pancreas of cows. The pancreas is an organ in animals and people that makes chemicals - amylase, lipase, and protease - that are needed for proper digestion. Pancreatic enzyme products available by prescription and as a supplement.

Prescription pancreatic enzyme products are most commonly used to treat digestion problems that result when the pancreas has been removed or is not working well. Cystic fibrosis or long-term swelling of the pancreas are two of the conditions that can cause the pancreas to function poorly. While pancreatic enzyme supplements are also available, they're not recommended for this condition.

How does it work?

Pancreatic enzyme products contain amylase, lipase, and protease. These chemicals are normally made by the pancreas and help to digest food.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Effective for

  • Digestion problems due to a disorder of the pancreas (pancreatic insufficiency). Taking prescription pancreatic enzyme products by mouth seem to improve 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). Non-prescription pancreatic products should not be used.

Possibly Effective for

  • Build up of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD). NAFLD sometimes occurs in people that have had their pancreas removed. Research shows that taking a prescription pancreatic enzyme product may help prevent NAFLD in these people. While some research shows that non-prescription pancreatic enzyme products might also be beneficial, it's too soon to recommend these.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • HIV/AIDS. Fat digestion is sometimes a problem in people with HIV/AIDS. Some early research shows that taking prescription pancreatic enzyme products might help with fat digestion in some children with HIV/AIDS.
  • Pancreatic cancer. Some, but not all, people with pancreatic cancer are unable to digest food properly. This can lead to weight loss. Some research shows that taking a prescription pancreatic enzyme product can increase body weight in people with pancreatic cancer. But other research shows that taking a pancreatic enzyme product does not improve nutrition status, body weight, or survival in people with pancreatic cancer. It's possible that pancreatic enzyme products are only beneficial in people with pancreatic cancer who are unable to digest food properly.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pancreatic enzyme products for these uses.
Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Prescription pancreatic enzyme products are LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Side effects may include increased or decreased blood sugar, stomach pain, abnormal bowel movements, gas, headache, or dizziness. Be sure to follow the prescribed dosing instructions. Taking prescription pancreatic enzyme products in amounts greater than prescribed is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Higher doses may increase your chance of having a certain rare bowel disorder. There is not enough information available to know if pancreatic enzyme supplements are safe.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

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. Side effects may include increased or decreased blood sugar, stomach pain, abnormal bowel movements, gas, headache, or dizziness. Be sure to follow the prescribed dosing instructions. Taking prescription pancreatic enzyme products in amounts greater than prescribed is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Higher doses may increase your chance of having a certain rare bowel disorder. There is not enough information available 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 and watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) if you have diabetes and use pancreatic enzyme products.

Interactions

Interactions?

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

!
  • Acarbose (Precose, Prandase) interacts with PANCREATIC ENZYME PRODUCTS

    Acarbose (Precose, Prandase) is used to help treat type 2 diabetes. Acarbose (Precose, Prandase) works by decreasing how quickly foods are broken down. Pancreatin seems to help the body break down some foods. By helping the body break down foods pancreatin might decrease the effectiveness of Acarbose (Precose, Prandase).

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:

  • For digestion problems due to a disorder of the pancreas (pancreatic insufficiency): Healthcare providers prescribe pancreatic enzyme products for digestion problems due to a disorder of the pancreas. Doses are given as lipase units. Lipase is one of the chemicals contained in pancreatin that helps with digestion. Starting dose are usually 500-1000 lipase units/ kilogram body weight with each meal, to a maximum of 2500 lipase units/kg per meal or 4000 lipase units/gram fat per day. Amounts higher than 2500 lipase units/kg per meal are prescribed only if medically necessary.
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): A specific delayed-release prescription pancreatic enzyme product (LipaCreon) 1800 mg daily for 6-12 months has been used. This product is available in the U.S. as Creon.
CHILDREN

BY MOUTH:
  • For digestion problems due to a disorder of the pancreas (pancreatic insufficiency): Healthcare providers prescribe pancreatic enzyme products for digestion problems due to a disorder of the pancreas. Doses are given as lipase units. Lipase is one of the chemicals contained in pancreatin that helps with digestion. Starting dose are usually 500-1000 lipase units/ kilogram body weight with each meal, to a maximum of 2500 lipase units/kg per meal or 4000 lipase units/gram fat per day. Amounts higher than 2500 lipase units/kg per meal are prescribed only if medically necessary.

View References

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