Cystic Fibrosis Home > Zenpep Uses

Adults and children who have low levels of pancreatic digestive enzymes may benefit from using a medication called Zenpep. This drug helps to increase digestive enzymes that may become low due to cystic fibrosis or certain other medical problems. Zenpep contains pancreatic digestive enzymes derived from the pancreatic glands in pigs.

What Is Zenpep Used For?

Zenpep® (pancrelipase) is a prescription medication approved to treat pancreatic enzyme deficiencies due to cystic fibrosis or various other conditions. It contains pancreatic digestive enzymes derived from pancreatic glands of pigs.
The pancreas is an organ that has two general functions. It is probably most well-known for its role in secreting insulin and other various other types of hormones. This is known as the endocrine (hormonal) function of the pancreas.
However, this organ has another important role. The pancreas is responsible for producing several different digestive enzymes that help to break food down into smaller molecules that can be absorbed and used by the body. Various conditions can decrease pancreatic enzyme production. This can lead to malnutrition, as the nutrients cannot be absorbed; it can also cause digestive problems, such as diarrhea and fatty stools. Vitamin deficiencies may also occur.
Zenpep is used to replace the deficient digestive enzymes, allowing the food to be broken down and absorbed into the body.

How Does This Medicine Work?

Zenpep 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.

Is It Safe for Children to Use Zenpep?

Zenpep is approved for use in children and infants. However, it comes only in capsule form, so a little creativity and patience is necessary in order to give this medication to young children (see Zenpep Dosage for more information).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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