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Pancreaze Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 3/05/2016

Pancreaze (pancrelipase) Microtablets is a pancreatic enzyme used to treat exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis or other conditions. Common side effects of Pancreaze include abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, vomiting, and fatigue.

The recommended dose of Pancreaze for children 4 years and older and adults is 500 lipase units/kg of body weight per meal for those older than age 4 years, to a maximum of 2,500 lipase units/kg of body weight per meal (or less than or equal to 10,000 lipase units/kg of body weight per day), or less than 4,000 lipase units/g fat ingested per day. Pancreaze may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Pancreaze should be used only if prescribed. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Pancreaze (pancrelipase) Microtablets Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

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.

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Pancreaze FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


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 entire FDA prescribing information for Pancreaze (Pancrelipase Microtablets)

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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