Cystic Fibrosis Home > Zenpep

If you are deficient in pancreatic enzymes, your healthcare provider may prescribe Zenpep. This drug is specifically designed to help increase pancreatic enzymes in people who have conditions like cystic fibrosis or certain other health issues. It comes as an extended-release capsule that is taken with each meal. Headaches, bruising, and coughing are some of the possible side effects.

What Is Zenpep?

Zenpep® (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 Zenpep Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Zenpep is made by Eurand Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does Zenpep Work?

Zenpep contains a mixture of different pancreatic enzymes taken from the pancreatic glands of 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 Zenpep include the following:
  • This medication comes in the form of an extended-release capsule. It is usually taken by mouth with each meal or before each feeding for an infant.
  • For infants, the capsules should be opened, and the contents poured directly into the mouth or onto a small amount of applesauce or commercially-prepared pear or banana baby food. Follow immediately with formula or breastfeeding.
  • For small children, or other individuals unable to swallow capsules, open the capsules and sprinkle the contents on a room-temperature, slightly acidic food, such as applesauce. Swallow (without chewing) the applesauce 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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