Health Guide


What is it?

Pancreatin is a digestive enzyme that is used to supplement loss of or low digestive enzymes, often used in people with cystic fibrosis. It is also been claimed to help with food allergies, celiac disease, autoimmune disease, cancer, and weight loss.

Other names for pancreatin include: Pancreatinum and Pancreatic Enzymes.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have gallstones or gallbladder or liver blockage
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Pancreatin you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking pancreatin. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take pancreatin without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Acarbose (Precose(R)) (3)
  • Alkaline foods (examples: beans, broccoli, corn, grapefruit, lemons, lettuce, onions) (12-14)
  • Miglitol (Glyset(R)) (8)


  • Before taking pancreatin, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you have gallstones, or possible blockage of gallbladder duct or liver, you should not take pancreatin without first consulting your health care professional (9)
  • Do not use if you are allergic to pork, sheep, or cow products (10)

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, stomach cramps (2,12)
  • Nausea and vomiting (12)


1. Murray, MT, Pizzorno J: Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine 2nd ed. Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA; 1998.

2. Product Information: Entozyme(R), pancreatin. AH Robins Company, Richmond, VA; 1990.

3. Product Information: Precose(R), acarbose. Bayer Corporation, West Have, CT; 1998.

4. Regan PT, Malagelada JR, DiMagno EP et al: Cimetidine as an adjunct to oral enzymes in the treatment of malabsorption due to pancreatic insufficiency. Gastroenterology 1978; 74:488-492.

5. Reagan PT, Malagelada JR, DiMagno EP et al: Comparative effects of antacids, cimetidine and enteric coating on the therapeutic response to oral enzymes in severe pancreatic insufficiency. N Engl J Med 1977; 297:854-858.

6. Sorkin EM & Darvey DL: Review of cimetidine drug interactions. Drug Intell Clin harm 1983;17:110-120.

7. Russell RM, Dutta SK, Oaks EV et al: Impairment of folic acid absorption by oral pancreatic extracts. Dig Dis Sci 1980;25:369-373.

8. Product Information: Glyset(TM), miglitol. Bayer Corporation, West Haven, CT; 1996.

9. Reynolds JEF (ed): Martindale: the extra pharmacopoeia (electronic version). Micromedex Inc, Englewood, CO; 1993.

10. Anon: Drug Facts and Comparisons. Facts and Comparisons Inc, St. Louis, MO; 2000.

11. Anon: Pancreatin (monograph). Micromedex ® Health Care Series vol 102. Micromedex Inc, Englewood, CO; 1997.

12. Product Information: Pangestyme(TM) EC, pancrelipase. Ethex Corporation, St. Louis, MO, 2002.

13. Product Information: Creon(R), pancreatin. Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Marietta, Georgia, 1993.

14. Dressman JB, Shtohryn LV, & Diokno D: Effects of product formulation on in vitro activity of pancreatic enzymes. Am J Hosp Pharm 1985; 42:2502-2506.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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