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Pancreatin high strength oral

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Pancreatin


Capsule containing enteric coated mini tablets of pancreatin (lipase, amylase and protease).

Drugs List

  • NUTRIZYM 22 capsules of enteric coated minitablets
  • PANCREASE HL capsules
  • pancreatin (lipase amylase protease) 22000unit+19800unit+1100unit gastro-resistant capsules
  • pancreatin (lipase amylase protease) 25000unit+22500unit+1250unit gastro-resistant capsules
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Pancreatic enzyme deficiency


    Therapy should be initiated at the lowest possible dose and gradually increased until the desired control of steatorrhoea is obtained.

    The interindividual response to pancreatin supplements is variable and the dosage may need to be titrated to the individual based on parameters of steatorrhoea and symptomatology. Further dose increases, if required, should be added slowly, with careful monitoring of response and symptomatology.


    1 to 2 capsules with meals and one capsule with snacks.


    1 to 2 capsules with meals and one capsule with snacks.

    The manufacturer does not specify a minimum age for use, however, alternative sources suggest that this dose may be suitable for children aged 15 to 18 years.

    Additional Dosage Information

    Please refer to the product information of the respective higher strength preparation for dose substitution details in patients already receiving lower unit dose enteric coated pancreatin supplements.


    For oral administration.

    The capsules should be swallowed whole with a glass of water.

    Where swallowing of capsules is difficult, the capsules may be opened and the contents may be taken with fluid (preferably water) or small amount of soft food immediately after mixing. In order to protect the enteric coating, it is important that the contents are not to be crushed or chewed.

    Avoid contact of the minitablets with food or liquid having a pH higher than 4.5 as it can dissolve the protective coating and reduce the efficacy of the product.


    Cystic fibrosis in children aged 15 years and under

    Precautions and Warnings

    Children under 15 years
    Renal impairment

    Maintain adequate hydration during therapy
    Different brands may not be interchangeable
    The product is of porcine origin
    Avoid contact of powder with skin and mucous membranes
    Monitor serum folate levels - add supplements if necessary
    Review to exclude colonic damage in patients reporting abdominal symptoms
    Advise patient to report bowel dysfunction immediately
    Local irritation of mouth/anal area may occur - prevent with barrier cream
    Cystic fibrosis: lipase dose should not usually exceed 10,000units/kg/day
    Advise patients to avoid excessive heat when preparing mixture

    Caution should be exercised when making any change in pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy.

    Abdominal symptoms (those not usually experienced by the patient) or changes in abdominal symptoms should be reviewed to exclude the possibility of colonic damage - especially if the patient is taking in excess of 10000 units of lipase per kg per day. Possible risk factors are gender (boys at greater risk than girls), more severe cystic fibrosis, and concomitant use of laxatives. The peak age for developing fibrosing colonopathy is between 2 and 8 years.

    Stricture of the ileo-caecum and large bowel, and colitis have been reported in children with cystic fibrosis taking high doses of pancreatic enzyme supplements. In some cases surgery including resection of the bowel may be required.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Pancreatin should be used with caution during pregnancy.

    At the time of writing, there is no adequate data on the use of pancreatin in pregnant women.

    Animal studies show no evidence for any absorption of porcine pancreatic enzymes. Therefore, no reproductive or developmental toxicity is to be expected, but the potential risk to human pregnancy is still unknown.

    The manufacturers advise that pancreatin should only be used during pregnancy where clearly necessary. They also recommend that if used, it should be given at doses that provide adequate nutritional status.

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14 to 17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Pancreatin should be used with caution during breastfeeding.

    At the time of writing, there are no adequate data on the use of pancreatin during breastfeeding and it is not known whether pancreatin is excreted in breast milk. The manufacturer states that no effects on the suckling child are anticipated since animal studies show no systemic exposure of the breastfeeding woman to pancreatic enzymes. The manufacturers does however, recommend that pancreatin should only be used during breastfeeding if clearly necessary, and if administered, dose should be adequate to provide adequate nutritional status.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at


    Instruct patients not to increase dose on their own.

    Side Effects

    Abdominal distension
    Abdominal pain
    Buccal irritation
    Colonic stricture
    Intestinal obstruction
    Intestinal stricture
    Perianal irritation


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: October 2014

    Reference Sources

    Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference, 37th edition (2011) ed. Sweetman, S. Pharmaceutical Press, London.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Pancrease HL capsules. Janssen-Cilag Ltd. Revised October 2013.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Nutrizym 22. Merck Serono Ltd. Revised September 2014.

    NICE Evidence Services Available at: Last accessed: 22 August 2017

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