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The most serious adverse reactions reported with different pancreatic enzyme products of the same active ingredient (pancrelipase) that are described elsewhere in the label 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 rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

The short-term safety of ULTRESA was assessed in two clinical trials conducted in 40 patients with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) due to cystic fibrosis (CF). Study 1 was conducted in 31 patients, ages 8 years to 37 years; Study 2 was conducted in 9 patients, ages 7 years to 11 years.

Study 1 was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of 31 patients, ages 8 to 37 years, with EPI due to CF. In this study, patients were randomized to receive ULTRESA at doses not to exceed 2,500 lipase units per kilogram per meal or matching placebo for 6 to 7 days of treatment, followed by crossover to the alternate treatment for an additional 6 to 7 days. The mean daily dose of ULTRESA was 6,270 lipase units per kilogram body weight per day. The mean exposure to ULTRESA during this study was 5.4 days.

The most common adverse reactions ( ≥ 7%) were headache, pharyngolaryngeal pain, and epistaxis. Table 1 enumerates adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2 patients (greater than or equal to 7%) treated with ULTRESA at a higher rate than with placebo in Study 1.

TABLE 1 : Adverse Reactions Occurring in at Least 2 Patients ( ≥ 7%) in Cystic Fibrosis (Study 1)

Adverse Reaction ULTRESA
n (%)
n (%)
Headache 2 (7%) 1 (3%)
Pharyngolaryngeal Pain 2 (7%) 1 (3%)
Epistaxis 2 (7%) 0

Study 2 was an open-label study of 9 patients, ages 7 years to 11 years, with EPI due to CF. After a screening period of up to 15 days on individually-titrated doses of ULTRESA not to exceed 2,500 lipase units per kilogram per meal, patients entered a washout phase (no treatment) of up to 7 days before returning to a treatment phase of up to 12 days on the same individually-titrated dose of ULTRESA. Two patients discontinued during the washout phase leaving 7 patients in the treatment phase. The mean daily dose of ULTRESA was 6,361 lipase units per kilogram body weight per day during the last 4 days of the screening phase, and was 6,846 lipase units per kilogram body weight per day during the treatment phase. The mean duration of the treatment phase was 5.7 days.

Adverse reactions that occurred during treatment with ULTRESA were nasal congestion (14%), neck pain (14%), beta-hemolytic streptococcal infection (11%), ear pain (11%), and lymphadenopathy (11%).

Postmarketing Experience

Postmarketing data for ULTRESA has been available since 2003. The safety data is similar to that described below. 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.

Pancreatic enzyme products (delayed and immediate-release) 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.

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


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

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/12/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


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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