Taking Pancreatic Enzymes

Please note, this page is printable by selecting the normal print options on your computer.

This information is relating to Creon®, Nutrizym®, Pancrex® and Pancrease®.

Why pancreatic enzymes are needed

Tips on taking pancreatic enzymes
• Take the first capsule with the first few mouthfuls of the meal. If taking more than one capsule, take the second one half-way through the meal and/or between courses.
• Swallow the capsule whole with a cold drink. Do not crush or chew the capsule or contents.
• If you are unable to swallow the capsule whole, open the capsule and mix the contents into a spoonful of jam, yoghurt or cold fruit puree. Alternatively, ask your GP whether you can be prescribed a smaller capsule size – this will contain fewer enzymes, meaning you will need to take more capsules.
• Avoid mixing the capsules or contents with very hot food or drink as this may destroy the enzymes.

Tips on storing pancreatic enzymes
• Store your enzyme capsules somewhere cool and avoid exposing them to high temperatures (such as on sunny windowsills, car glove compartments and in the pockets of tight trousers) as this could destroy the enzymes.

Dosage of pancreatic enzymes
The amount of enzymes needed varies from person to person, and may change over time – use the table below to document your dose for different sized meals, as advised by your doctor or dietitian.

Food and drinks low in fat/protein (no enzymes required)
•Drinks that are less than half milk e.g. tea, non-milky coffee, fruit squashes, fizzy drinks
•Fruits or vegetables with no added butter/oil/dressing EXCEPT avocados, olives, and beans/pulses
•Jelly, sorbet or plain meringues
•Sugary sweets e.g. marshmallows, wine gums, jelly babies

You should notice an improvement in your symptoms of malabsorption once you are taking the optimum dose of enzymes. Remember to keep taking them unless you are advised to stop by your doctor or dietitian.

If you have any queries regarding your diet and pancreatic enzymes, contact the Dietetic department on 01908 996004.