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Pancreaze Warnings and Precautions

By talking to your healthcare provider about the warnings and precautions for Pancreaze, it can help minimize your risk of developing high uric acid levels, allergic reactions, or other potentially serious complications. To help ensure a safe treatment, let your healthcare provider know if you have a history of bowel problems, trouble swallowing capsules, or any allergies. Other safety issues apply to pregnant or breastfeeding women.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Pancreaze® (pancrelipase) if you have:
  • Trouble swallowing capsules
  • A history of intestinal blockage or other bowel problems
  • High uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia)
  • Gout
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure, or if you are on dialysis
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings for Pancreaze

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
  • Pancreaze is derived from the pancreatic glands of pigs. There is a theoretical possibility that the medication could contain viruses or other infectious materials from the pigs, although measures are taken to help prevent this. No cases of pig-related infections from Pancreaze have ever been reported.
  • People who are allergic to pigs or pig products might also be allergic to Pancreaze.
  • Make sure to swallow Pancreaze capsules whole. For babies, young children, or other individuals with difficulty swallowing capsules, open the capsule and sprinkle the contents on a slightly acidic food like applesauce or commercially prepared pear or banana baby food, and swallow without chewing. Do not chew the capsules or the contents of the capsules. The small pellets in the capsules have a coating that helps protect the mouth from the drug, which can be very irritating.
For people opening the capsules and sprinkling on food, always follow the dosage with juice or water. If mouth irritation occurs, let your healthcare provider know. 
  • As with other pancrelipase products, Pancreaze can rarely cause a condition known as fibrosing colonopathy. This condition is potentially serious and may require surgery; it is most likely to occur with very high doses of Pancreaze. Alert your healthcare provider to any symptoms of this condition, such as unusual or severe:
    • Abdominal (stomach) pain
    • Bloating
    • Trouble passing stool
    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Pancreaze may increase uric acid levels in the blood, which may cause or worsen gout or kidney problems.
  • Pancreaze is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means it may not be safe for use in pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Pancreaze and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown whether Pancreaze passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Pancreaze and Breastfeeding).

Pancreaze Drug Information

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