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Zenpep Warnings and Precautions

Reviewing the warnings and precautions for Zenpep can help minimize your risk of developing high uric acid levels, allergic reactions, or other potentially serious complications. To help ensure a safe treatment, talk to your healthcare provider about your medical history, including any problems you might have with your kidneys. Other safety concerns may apply to women who are pregnant or nursing.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Zenpep® (pancrelipase) if you have:
 
  • A history of intestinal blockage or other bowel problems
  • High uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia)
  • Gout
  • Trouble swallowing capsules
  • 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 With Zenpep

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
 
  • Make sure to swallow Zenpep capsules whole. For babies, young children, or other individuals who have problems swallowing capsules, sprinkle the contents of the capsules on a room-temperature, acidic food like applesauce or commercially prepared pear or banana baby food, and then swallow it 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 the contents on food, always follow the dosage with juice or water. If mouth irritation occurs, let your healthcare provider know.
 
  • In rare cases, Zenpep can cause a condition known as fibrosing colonopathy. This potentially serious condition may require surgery and is most likely to occur with very high doses of Zenpep. 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.
 
  • Zenpep may increase uric acid levels in the blood, which may cause or worsen gout or kidney problems.
 
  • This medicine is derived from pig pancreatic glands. There is a theoretical possibility that the medication could contain viruses or other infections from the pigs, although measures are taken to help prevent this. No cases of pig-related infections from Zenpep have ever been reported.
 
  • People who are allergic to pigs or pig products might also be allergic to Zenpep.
   
  • Zenpep is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means it may not be safe for use in pregnant women, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Zenpep and Pregnancy).
 
  • It is unknown whether Zenpep 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 Zenpep and Breastfeeding).
 

Zenpep Drug Information

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