PERTZYE (Page 3 of 6)

5.1 Fibrosing Colonopathy

Fibrosing colonopathy has been reported following treatment with different pancreatic enzyme products. 4,5 Fibrosing colonopathy is a rare serious adverse reaction initially described in association with high-dose pancreatic enzyme use, usually with use over a prolonged period of time and most commonly reported in pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis. The underlying mechanism of fibrosing colonopathy remains unknown. Doses of pancreatic enzyme products exceeding 6,000 lipase units/kg of body weight per meal have been associated with colonic strictures in children less than 12 years of age. 1 Patients with fibrosing colonopathy should be closely monitored because some patients may be at risk of progressing to stricture formation. It is uncertain whether regression of fibrosing colonopathy occurs. 1 It is generally recommended, unless clinically indicated, that enzyme doses should be less than 2,500 lipase units/kg of body weight per meal (or less than 10,000 lipase units/kg of body weight per day) or less than 4,000 lipase units/g fat ingested per day [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.1)] .
Doses greater than 2,500 lipase units/kg of body weight per meal (or greater than 10,000 lipase units/kg of body weight per day) should be used with caution and only if they are documented to be effective by 3-day fecal fat measures that indicate a significantly improved coefficient of fat absorption. Patients receiving higher doses than 6,000 lipase units/kg of body weight per meal should be examined and the dosage either immediately decreased or titrated downward to a lower range.

5.2 Potential for Irritation to Oral Mucosa

Care should be taken to ensure that no drug is retained in the mouth. PERTZYE should not be crushed or chewed or mixed in foods having a pH greater than 4.5. These actions can disrupt the protective enteric coating resulting in early release of enzymes, irritation of oral mucosa, and/or loss of enzyme activity [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.2) and Patient Counseling Information ( 17.1)] . For patients who are unable to swallow intact capsules, the capsules may be carefully opened and the contents mixed with a small amount of acidic soft food with a pH of 4.5 or less, such as applesauce. The PERTZYE-soft food mixture should be swallowed immediately and followed with water or juice to ensure complete ingestion.

5.3 Potential for Risk of Hyperuricemia

Porcine-derived pancreatic enzyme products contain purines that may increase blood uric acid levels. Consider monitoring serum uric acid levels in patients with hyperuricemia, gout or renal impairment.

5.4 Potential Viral Exposure from the Product Source

PERTZYE is sourced from pancreatic tissue from swine used for food consumption. Although the risk that PERTZYE will transmit an infectious agent to humans has been reduced by testing for certain viruses during manufacturing and by inactivating certain viruses during manufacturing, there is a theoretical risk for transmission of viral disease, including diseases caused by novel or unidentified viruses. Thus, the presence of porcine viruses that might infect humans cannot be definitely excluded. However, no cases of transmission of an infectious illness associated with the use of porcine pancreatic extracts have been reported.

5.5 Allergic Reactions

Caution should be exercised when administering pancrelipase to a patient with a known allergy to proteins of porcine origin. Rarely, severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, asthma, hives, and pruritus, have been reported with other pancreatic enzyme products with different formulations of the same active ingredient (pancrelipase). The risks and benefits of continued PERTZYE treatment in patients with severe allergy should be taken into consideration with the overall clinical needs of the patient.


The most serious adverse reactions reported with different pancreatic enzyme products of the same active ingredient (pancrelipase) include fibrosing colonopathy, hyperuricemia and allergic reactions [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1, 5.3, 5.5)] .

6.1 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 clinical practice.
The short-term safety of PERTZYE was assessed in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of 24 patients, ages 8 to 43 years, with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis. In this study, patients were randomized to receive PERTZYE at individually titrated doses (not to exceed 2,500 lipase units per kilogram per meal) or matching placebo for 6 to 8 days of treatment, followed by crossover to the alternate treatment for an additional 6 to 8 days. The length of exposure to PERTZYE during this study was 20-28 days, including the treatment period of 6 to 8 days, and the open label titration and transition periods of 7 to 10 days. The most common adverse reactions (≥ 10%) were diarrhea, dyspepsia, and cough. Table 1 enumerates adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2 patients (≥ 10%) treated with PERTZYE at a higher rate than with placebo.

Table 1. Adverse Reactions Occurring in at Least 2 Patients (≥ 10%)
Adverse Reaction PERTZYE n=21 n (%) PLACEBO n=24 n (%)
Diarrhea 2 (10%) 1 (4%)
Dyspepsia 2 (10%) 1 (4%)
Cough 2 (10%) 1 (4%)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of PERTZYE. 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.

This formulation of PERTZYE has been marketed since 2004 under the trademark PANCRECARB ®. Two product complaints relating to an adverse drug reaction were reported. A mild allergic reaction (itching and red, blotchy rash on face) was reported by a patient with a known history of allergy to another pancrelipase product, and a dull headache was reported by another patient taking concomitant ursodeoxycholic acid. Both events resolved without sequelae after discontinuation of treatment.
Delayed- and immediate-release pancreatic enzyme products 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 include 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.


No drug interactions have been identified. No formal interaction studies have been conducted.


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Published data from case reports with pancrelipase use in pregnant women have not identified a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage or other adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. Pancrelipase is minimally absorbed systematically; therefore, maternal use is not expected to result in fetal exposure to the drug. Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with pancrelipase.

The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated

population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.

8.2 Nursing Mothers

Risk Summary

There are no data on the presence of pancrelipase in either human or animal milk, the effects on the breastfed infant or the effects on milk production. Pancrelipase is minimally absorbed systemically following oral administration, therefore maternal use is not expected to result in clinically relevant exposure of breastfed infants to the drug. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for PERTZYE and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from PERTZYE or from the underlying maternal condition.

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