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Side Effects


The most serious adverse reactions reported with different pancreatic enzyme products of the same active ingredient (pancrelipase) include fibrosing colonopathy, hyperuricemia and allergic reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to the rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

The short-term safety of PANCREAZE was assessed in two clinical trials conducted in 57 patients with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) due to CF. Study 1 was conducted in 40 patients, ages 8 years to 57 years; Study 2 was conducted in 17 patients, ages 6 months to 30 months. In Study 1, PANCREAZE was administered in a dose of approximately 6,300 lipase units per kilogram per day for lengths of treatment ranging from 8 to 26 days; in Study 2, PANCREAZE was administered in four treatment arms (doses of 1,375, 2,875, 4,735, and 5,938 lipase units per kilogram per day) for lengths of treatment ranging from 6 to 11 days. The population was nearly evenly distributed in gender, and approximately 96% of patients were Caucasian.

Study 1 was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 40 patients, ages 8 to 57 years, with EPI due to CF. In this study, patients received PANCREAZE at individually titrated doses (not to exceed 2,500 lipase units per kilogram per meal) for 14 days, followed by randomization to PANCREAZE or matching placebo for 7 days of treatment. The mean exposure to PANCREAZE during this study, including titration period and randomized withdrawal period, was 18 days.

The incidence of adverse events (regardless of causality) was higher during placebo treatment (60%) than during PANCREAZE treatment (40%). The most common adverse events reported during the study were gastrointestinal complaints, which were reported more commonly during placebo treatment (55%) than during PANCREAZE treatment (30%). The type and incidence of adverse events were similar in children (8 to 11 years), adolescents (12 to 17 years), and adults (greater than 18 years).

Table 1 enumerates treatment-emergent adverse events that occurred in at least 2 patients (greater than or equal to 10%) treated with either PANCREAZE or placebo in Study 1. Adverse events were classified by Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA) terminology.

Table 1: Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events Occurring in at Least 2 Patients (Greater Than or Equal to 10%) in Either Treatment Group of the Placebo-Controlled, Clinical Study of PANCREAZE

MedDRA Primary System Organ Class
Preferred Term
n (%)
n (%)
Gastrointestinal Disorders
Abdominal pain 2 (10%) 3 (15%)
Abdominal pain upper 1 (5%) 3 (15%)
Flatulence 1 (5%) 3 (15%)
Diarrhea 0 (0%) 4 (20%)
Abnormal feces 0 (0%) 3 (15%)
General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions
Fatigue 0 (0%) 2 (10%)

Study 2 was a randomized, investigator-blinded, dose-ranging study of 17 patients, ages 6 months to 30 months, with EPI due to CF. All patients were transitioned from their usual PEP treatment to PANCREAZE at 375 lipase units per kilogram body weight per meal for a 6 day run-in period. Patients were then randomized to receive PANCREAZE at one of four doses (375, 750, 1,125, and 1,500 lipase units per kilogram body weight per meal) for 5 days. Adverse events were collected on patient diary entries and at each study visit.

The most commonly reported adverse events were gastrointestinal, including diarrhea and vomiting, and were similar in type and frequency across treatment arms and to those reported in the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (Study 1).

Postmarketing Experience

Postmarketing data for PANCREAZE have been available since 1988. The safety data are similar to those described below.

Delayed-and immediate-release pancreatic enzyme products with different formulations of the same active ingredient (pancrelipase) have been used for the treatment of patients with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis and other conditions, such as chronic pancreatitis. The long-term safety profile of these products has been described in the medical literature. The most serious adverse events included fibrosing colonopathy, distal intestinal obstruction syndrome (DIOS), recurrence of pre-existing carcinoma, and severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, asthma, hives, and pruritus. The most commonly reported adverse events were gastrointestinal disorders, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation and nausea, and skin disorders including pruritus, urticaria and rash. In general, these products have a well-defined and favorable risk-benefit profile in exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Read the Pancreaze (pancrelipase microtablets) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


No drug interactions have been identified. No formal interaction studies have been conducted.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/9/2014

Side Effects

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