How PERTZYE® (pancrelipsase) works
When you start a new medication, it’s important to understand how it works inside your body. Take a look inside the digestive system to see how PERTZYE can help treat exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) due to cystic fibrosis (CF).
The pancreas releases pancreatic enzymes and bicarbonate into the duodenum. The duodenum is the first portion of the small intestine.
Enzymes help break down food into absorbable nutrients after the food has been partially digested in the stomach.
Bicarbonate is a substance that raises the pH of the duodenum to help pancreatic enzymes work efficiently to digest food.
The intestines then absorb the nutrients into the body where they are used as energy.
CF causes the mucus that coats and protects the digestive system to become abnormally thick and sticky.
Abnormal mucus can clog the pancreatic duct and cause damage to the pancreas.
The pancreas can’t release sufficient amounts of pancreatic enzymes and bicarbonate into the duodenum.
Due to this blockage and damage, your body can’t break down the food you eat as well as it should. This leads to the symptoms of EPI.
When PERTZYE capsules enter the stomach, they quickly dissolve, releasing enteric-coated microspheres that mix with food. The coating protects the microspheres from your stomach acid and allows them to pass through your stomach until they reach the duodenum.
The microspheres come in varying sizes to help them mix with the different sizes of food particles. This is important because it may allow them to move with liquid and food at different times into your duodenum.
Once in the duodenum, the microspheres release 3 pancreatic enzymes (lipase, protease, amylase) to help your body efficiently digest and absorb food.
The bicarbonate buffer is released alongside the enzymes, which may help to increase the pH of the area around the enzymes. This is important because food coming from your stomach may have an acidic pH, which can damage the enzymes.
EPI due to CF
you digest food
For illustrative purposes only. Always take PERTs with a meal or snack and plenty of fluid.Experience how PERTZYE works in virtual reality
Frequently asked question
Each delayed-release capsule of PERTZYE contains coated beads called microspheres. These microspheres in varying sizes, protect and carry pancreatic enzymes (lipase, amylase, protease) and bicarbonate to the duodenum.
Once there, the coating dissolves and the microspheres release the pancreatic enzymes and bicarbonate to mix with food as it passes out of the stomach. The bicarbonate may help increase the pH of the area around the enzymes to enable them to work better to digest food. This may be important because the food mixture coming from the stomach has a low (acidic) pH, and pancreatic enzymes can be destroyed by a low pH.
PERTZYE® (pancrelipase) may increase the risk of having a rare bowel disorder called fibrosing colonopathy, especially if taken at a high dose in children with cystic fibrosis who are less than 12 years of age. This condition is serious and may require surgery. The risk of having fibrosing colonopathy may be reduced by following the dosing instructions that your doctor gives you. Call your doctor right away if you have any unusual or severe stomach area (abdominal) pain, bloating, trouble passing stools (constipation), nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Take PERTZYE capsules exactly as your doctor tells you. You should not switch PERTZYE with any other pancreatic enzyme product without first talking with your doctor. Don’t take more capsules in a day than the number your doctor tells you to take (total daily dose). Always take PERTZYE 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 enzyme dose. PERTZYE capsules should be swallowed whole. Do not crush or chew the PERTZYE capsules or their contents, and do not hold the capsule or capsule contents in your mouth. Read the Medication Guide for instructions on how to take PERTZYE if you have trouble swallowing capsules.
The most common side effects of PERTZYE include diarrhea, upset stomach (indigestion), and cough. Other potential serious side effects are irritation of the inside of your mouth; increase in blood uric acid levels, which may cause worsening of swollen, painful joints (gout); and allergic reactions, including trouble swallowing or breathing, skin rash, itching, or swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.
Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including 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, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take.
PERTZYE and other pancreatic enzyme products are made from the pancreas of pigs, the same pigs people eat as pork. These pigs may carry viruses. Although it has never been reported, it may be possible for a person to get a viral infection from taking pancreatic enzyme products that come from pigs.
PERTZYE is a prescription medicine used to treat people who can’t digest food normally because their pancreas does not make enough enzymes due to cystic fibrosis or other conditions.
PERTZYE capsules contain a mixture of digestive enzymes, including lipases, proteases, and amylases, from pig pancreas. PERTZYE is safe and effective in children and adults when taken as prescribed by your doctor.
Click here to read the Full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide before you start taking PERTZYE. You should also read the insert that comes with each prescription refill because there may be new information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
References available upon request.