Ultresa is licensed to treat deficiencies in pancreatic enzymes that are caused by cystic fibrosis or various other conditions. This prescription medicine contains pancreatic enzymes derived from pancreatic glands in pigs. Healthcare provider may sometimes prescribe Ultresa for unapproved uses as well, such as for use in infants with pancreatic enzyme deficiencies.
Ultresa® (pancrelipase) is a prescription medication approved to treat pancreatic enzyme deficiencies due to cystic fibrosis or various other conditions. Deficiencies of pancreatic enzymes are known as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, as opposed to endocrine pancreatic problems, which affect hormones like insulin instead of enzymes. Ultresa contains pancreatic digestive enzymes derived from the 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 hormones. This is known as the endocrine (hormonal) function of the pancreas.
However, the pancreas has another very important role: it is also responsible for producing several different digestive enzymes that help to break down food into smaller molecules that can be absorbed and used by the body. Various conditions can decrease pancreatic enzyme production. This can lead to malnutrition (since the nutrients cannot be absorbed) and also to digestive problems (such as diarrhea and fatty stools). Vitamin deficiencies may also occur.
Ultresa is used to replace the deficient digestive enzymes, allowing the food to be broken down and absorbed into the body.
Ultresa 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.