A-Chymotrypsin, A-Chymotrypsine, Alpha-Chymotrypsin, Alpha-Chymotrypsine, Chymotrypsin A, Chymotrypsine A, Chymotrypsin B, Chymotrypsine B, Chymotrypsine, Chymotrypsinum, L-Chymotrypsin, L-Chymotrypsine, Quimotripsina.
Chymotrypsin is an enzyme. An enzyme is a substance that speeds up certain chemical reactions in the body. People use chymotrypsin to make medicine.
People take chymotrypsin by mouth or as a shot to reduce redness and swelling associated with pockets of infection (abscesses), ulcers, surgery, or traumatic injuries; and to help loosen phlegm in asthma, bronchitis, lung diseases, and sinus infections.
It is also taken by mouth to reduce liver damage in burn patients; and to assist in wound repair.
Chymotrypsin is sometimes breathed in (inhaled) or applied to the skin (used topically) for conditions that involve pain and swelling (inflammation) and for infections.
During cataract surgery, chymotrypsin is sometimes used to reduce damage to the eye.
How does it work?
Chymotrypsin has ingredients that reduce swelling (inflammation) and tissue destruction.
- Cataract surgery, when used by a healthcare professional.
Possibly Effective for...
- Burns. There is some evidence that chymotrypsin might decrease tissue destruction in burn patients.
- Hand Fractures. Taking chymotrypsin by mouth seems to be effective for reducing redness and swelling associated with hand fractures.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Lung diseases.
- Sinus infections.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Chymotrypsin is safe when used in the eye by a healthcare professional. Chymotrypsin can cause side effects when used in the eye, including an increase in pressure in the eye and other eye conditions such as uveitis, paralysis of the iris, and keratitis.
It also seems to be safe for most people when taken by mouth to reduce redness and swelling following surgery or injury, and when applied directly to the skin for burns.
Not enough is known about the safety of chymotrypsin for its other uses.
Rarely, chymotrypsin might cause an allergic reaction when taken by mouth. Symptoms include itching, shortness of breath, swelling of the lips or throat, shock, loss of consciousness, and death.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- To reduce tissue damage in burn patients: a 6:1 ratio (trypsin:chymotrypsin), in a combined amount of 200,000 units USP four times daily for ten days.
- Healthcare providers inject a solution of chymotrypsin into the eyes as part of cataract surgery.
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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Dukes, MNG. Meyler's Side Effects of Drugs. 13th ed. Elsevier: Amsterdam, 1997.
Latha B, Ramakrishnan M, Jayaraman V, Babu M. Serum enzymatic changes modulated using trypsin: chymotrypsin preparation during burn wounds in humans. Burns 1997;23:560-4. View abstract.
Latha B, Ramakrishnan M, Jayaraman V, Babu M. The efficacy of trypsin: chymotrypsin preparation in the reduction of oxidative damage during burn injury. Burns 1998;24:532-8. View abstract.
McCue FC, Webster TM, Gieck J. Clinical effects of proteolytic enzymes after reconstructive hand surgery. Int Surg 1972;57:479-82.
Shaw PC. The use of a trypsin-chymotrypsin formulation in fractures of the hand. Br J Clin Pract 1969;23:25-6.