Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do I need to take PANCREAZE® with snacks and meals?

A: When the pancreas is working properly, it secretes enzymes when food is being eaten. These enzymes help digest food so that the body gets the nutrition it needs. However, in some people with cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis or other conditions, their pancreas does not make enough enzymes to digest food. PANCREAZE® replaces these digestive enzymes. It must be taken with food so that you have enough enzymes when food is being digested.

Q: Can I premix PANCREAZE® in my child’s food ahead of time?

A: You can sprinkle PANCREAZE® on small amounts of acidic food (e.g., applesauce) – but it must be administered within 15 minutes of mixing it. For older children, water or juice should be given right after to ensure complete ingestion. Children should swallow the capsules whole and not chew them to avoid irritation of the mouth’s lining. Contents of the capsule should not be mixed directly into formula or breast milk as this may diminish efficacy.

Q: What if I forget to take my scheduled dose of PANCREAZE®?

A: If you forget to take PANCREAZE®, wait until your next meal and take your usual number of capsules. Do not make up for missed doses.

Q: What happens if I stop taking PANCREAZE®?

A: PANCREAZE® replaces the enzymes you or your child needs to digest food. If you stop taking PANCREAZE®, the body may be unable to properly digest food. This means you or your child may not get the nutrients needed, and experience unpleasant symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, gas, and painful cramps. You should not stop PANCREAZE® unless your doctor advises you to stop taking it.

Q: Can I take too much PANCREAZE®?

A: It is possible to take too much PANCREAZE®. Your doctor will tell you how many capsules to take, and when, to help ensure you get the pancreatic enzymes you need, when you need it. Take PANCREAZE® exactly as your doctor tells you. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Do not take more capsules in a day than the number your doctor tells you to take (total daily dose)
  • Always take PANCREAZE® with a meal or snack and plenty of fluid. If you eat a lot of meals or snacks in a day, be careful not to go over your total daily dose
  • Your doctor may change your dose based on the amount of fatty foods you eat, your nutritional status or based on your weight

Q: Does PANCREAZE® expire?

A: Yes. Like all medicines, PANCREAZE® has an expiry date. It should be safely discarded after that date. If you have any questions on how to properly discard it, your pharmacist can advise you.

Q: How do I store PANCREAZE®?

There are a few instructions you should follow to ensure PANCREAZE® is stored correctly:

  • Keep PANCREAZE® at room temperature, below 77°F (25°C) in a dry place in the original container
  • Avoid heat, like keeping PANCREAZE®  in your car in the summer
  • After opening the bottle, keep it closed tightly between uses
  • The PANCREAZE® 2,600 4,200, 21,000 USP units of lipase bottles contain a “desiccant canister” to protect against moisture, which can reduce the effectiveness of the enzymes. Do not swallow or throw away this desiccant canister. It will protect your medicine from moisture.
  • If you sprinkle PANCREAZE® on food, give the PANCREAZE® and food mixture to your child right away, within 15 minutes. Do not store PANCREAZE® that is mixed with food.
If you have any other questions, please call
VIVUS, Inc. Medical Information at 1-888-998-4887.
What is the most important information I should know about PANCREAZE®?​

PANCREAZE® may increase your chance of having a serious, rare bowel disorder called fibrosing colonopathy that may require surgery. The risk of having this condition may be reduced by following the dosing instructions that your healthcare provider gave you.

Take PANCREAZE® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less PANCREAZE® than directed by your doctor.

Call your doctor right away if you have any unusual or severe stomach area (abdominal) pain, bloating, trouble passing stool (having bowel movements), nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

What should I tell my doctor before taking PANCREAZE®?

Tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to pork (pig) products
  • have a history of blockage of your intestines, or scarring or thickening of your bowel wall (fibrosing colonopathy)
  • have gout, kidney disease, or high blood uric acid (hyperuricemia)
  • have trouble swallowing capsules
  • have any other medical condition
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What are the possible side effects of PANCREAZE®?
PANCREAZE® may cause serious side effects, including:
  • A rare bowel disorder called fibrosing colonopathy.
  • Irritation of the inside of your mouth. This can happen if PANCREAZE® is not swallowed completely.
  • Increase in blood uric acid levels. This may cause worsening of swollen, painful joints (gout) caused by an increase in your blood uric acid levels.
  • Allergic reactions including trouble with breathing, skin rashes, or swollen lips.

The most common side effects include pain in your stomach (abdominal pain) and gas.

These are not all the side effects of PANCREAZE®. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or You may also report side effects to VIVUS, Inc. at 1-888-998-4887.

How do I take PANCREAZE®?
  • Do not crush or chew the PANCREAZE® capsules or their contents, and do not hold the capsule or contents in your mouth. Take PANCREAZE® exactly as your doctor tells you. Read the Medication Guide for directions on how to give PANCREAZE® to adults and children (children older than 12 months).
  • Read the Medication Guide for directions on how to give PANCREAZE® to infants (children up to 12 months).
Please read the PANCREAZE® Medication Guide and PANCREAZE® Product Information and discuss any questions you have with your doctor.