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  • Generic Name: pancrelipase
  • Brand Name: Viokace
  • Drug Class: Pancreatic/Digestive Enzymes
Last updated on MDtodate: 10/8/2022


The most serious adverse reactions reported with different pancreatic enzyme products of the same active ingredient (pancrelipase) that are described elsewhere in the label include fibrosing colonopathy, hyperuricemia and allergic reactions.

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to the rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The short-term safety of VIOKACE was assessed in a single, multicenter, randomized, parallel, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of 50 patients, ages 24-70 years, with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) due to chronic pancreatitis or pancreatectomy. VIOKACE Tablets (20,880 USP units of lipase per tablet) or placebo were administered as 22 tablets per day (6 tablets with 3 meals and 2 tablets with 2 of 3 snacks). Duration of exposure ranged from 6 to 7 days. The majority of the subjects were Caucasian (96%) and male (82%).

The most common adverse reactions (greater than or equal to 7%) were biliary tract stones and anal pruritus. Table 1 enumerates adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1 patient (greater than or equal to 3%) treated with VIOKACE at a higher rate than with placebo. Two adverse reactions reported in greater than one patient were biliary tract stones and anal pruritus.

TABLE 1: Adverse Reactions Occurring in at Least 1 Patient (greater than or equal to 3%) in Chronic Pancreatitis or Pancreatectomy

Treatment Group
MedDRA Primary System Organ Class/Adverse Reactions VIOKACE
Blood And Lymphatic System Disorders
  Anemia 1 ( 3%) 0
Gastrointestinal Disorders
  Anal pruritus 2 ( 7%) 0
  Abdominal pain 1 ( 3%) 0
  Ascites 1 ( 3%) 0
  Flatulence 1 ( 3%) 0
General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions
  Edema peripheral 1 ( 3%) 0
Hepatobiliary Disorders
  Biliary tract stones 2 ( 7%) 0
  Hydrocholecystis 1 ( 3%) 0
Infections and Infestations
  Viral infection 1 ( 3%) 0
Nervous System Disorders
  Headache 1 ( 3%) 0
Renal and Urinary Disorders
  Renal cyst 1 ( 3%) 0
Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders
  Rash 1 ( 3%) 0


Postmarketing Experience

Post-marketing data for VIOKACE have been available since 2003. The safety data are similar to that described below. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Pancreatic enzyme products (delayed and immediate-release) with different formulations of the same active ingredient (pancrelipase) have been used for the treatment of patients with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis and other conditions, such as chronic pancreatitis. The long-term safety profile of these products has been described in the medical literature. The most serious adverse events included fibrosing colonopathy, distal intestinal obstruction syndrome (DIOS), recurrence of pre-existing carcinoma, and severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, asthma, hives, and pruritus. The most commonly reported adverse events were gastrointestinal disorders, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation and nausea, and skin disorders including pruritus, urticaria and rash.



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