Cystic Fibrosis Home > Ultresa

Ultresa is prescribed to treat people who are deficient in pancreatic enzymes. Available as an extended-release capsule, the medication is taken with each meal and snack. It works by providing the body with lipases, proteases, and amylases derived from the pancreatic glands in pigs. Potential side effects may include headaches, nosebleeds, and a sore throat.

What Is Ultresa?

Ultresa® (pancrelipase) is a prescription medication used to replace pancreatic enzymes (digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas) in people with a deficiency of these enzymes. It is approved for use in people with cystic fibrosis or other conditions that cause pancreatic digestive enzyme deficiencies.
(Click Ultresa Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Ultresa is made by Aptalis Pharma US, Inc.

How Does Ultresa Work?

Ultresa contains a mixture of different pancreatic enzymes taken from the pancreatic glands in pigs. Specifically, it contains lipases, proteases, and amylases. Lipases help to digest fats, proteases help to digest proteins, and amylases help to digest starches.

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Ultresa include the following:
  • This medication comes in the form of an extended-release capsule. It is usually taken by mouth with each meal and snack.
  • For small children (or other individuals unable to swallow capsules), open the capsules and sprinkle the contents on a cold, slightly acidic food (such as applesauce or yogurt). Swallow (without chewing) the applesauce or yogurt completely and immediately. Follow with water or juice.
  • Do not crush or chew the capsules, as this will destroy the extended-release properties of the capsules and may cause mouth irritation.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Your symptoms will return if you stop taking this medication.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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