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What other names is Pancreatin known by?

Enzyme Therapy, Fungal Pancreatin, Pancreatina, Pancréatine, Pancréatine Fongique, Pancreatinum, Pancreatis Pulvis, Thérapie Enzymatique.

What is Pancreatin?

Pancreatin is usually obtained from the pancreas of pigs or cows. The pancreas is an organ in animals and people that makes chemicals - amylase, lipase, and protease - that are needed for proper digestion. Pancreatin is used as medicine.

Pancreatin is used to treat digestion problems that result when the pancreas has been removed or is not working well. Cystic fibrosis or ongoing swelling (chronic pancreatitis) are two of the conditions that can cause the pancreas to function poorly.

Pancreatin is also used for intestinal gas (flatulence) or as a digestive aid.

Effective for...

  • Inability to properly digest food (pancreatic insufficiency). Taking pancreatin by mouth seems to improve the absorption of fat, protein, and energy in people with who are unable to digest food properly due to cystic fibrosis, pancreas removal, or an pancreas swelling (pancreatitis). Most studies have evaluated pancrelipase products, which contain more lipase enzyme than normal pancreatin. Lipase enzyme helps the body break down fat.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Diabetes. Some research suggests that taking pancreatin or a specific pancrelipase product (Creon) does not improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes who are unable to digest food properly. Also, taking pancrelipase might increase the risk for blood sugar going too low (hypoglycemia), as well as a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, in people with diabetes and pancreas swelling (pancreatitis). It is not clear if these effects also occur in people with diabetes who are able to properly digest food.

Likely Ineffective for...

  • Digestive problems. Research shows that taking pancreatin by mouth is not effective for treating digestive problems, including intestinal gas, in people without pancreas problems.
  • Pancreas swelling (pancreatitis). Research shows that taking pancreatin does not improve stomach pain in people with pancreatitis.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Hernia (hiatal hernia). Early research suggests that taking a specific blend of pancreatin and the chemical dimethylpolysiloxane (Pankreoflat) for one month might improve stomach swelling, intestinal gas, and flatulence in people with hiatal hernia.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pancreatin for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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