Digestive System Home > Viokace

Viokace is prescribed to treat people who are deficient in pancreatic enzymes. Available as a tablet, the medication is taken with each meal. It works by providing the body with lipases, proteases, and amylases derived from the pancreatic glands of pigs. Although most people tolerate the drug well, side effects can occur and may include bile tract stones and anal itching.

What Is Viokace?

Viokace® (pancrelipase) is a prescription medication used to replace pancreatic enzymes (digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas) in people with a deficiency of these enzymes. It is approved for use in adults with pancreatic digestive enzyme deficiencies caused by chronic pancreatitis or a surgically removed pancreas.
 
Unlike other pancrelipase products, Viokace does not have a special coating to protect it from stomach acid. Instead, it must be taken with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) type of acid-reducing medication.
 
(Click Viokace Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes This Medication?

Viokace is made by Confab Laboratories, Inc. for Aptalis Pharma US, Inc.
 

How Does Viokace Work?

Viokace contains a mixture of different pancreatic enzymes taken from the pancreatic glands in pigs. Specifically, it contains lipases, proteases, and amylases. Lipases help to digest fats, proteases help to digest proteins, and amylases help to digest starches.
 

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Viokace include the following:
 
  • This medication comes in the form of a tablet. It is usually taken by mouth with each meal.
 
  • If you skip a meal or snack, skip your dose. Only take this product when eating.
 
  • Swallow the tablets whole; do not crush or chew them. Take them with plenty of liquid to wash down any tablet residue, as the medication can be irritating to the mouth.
 
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Your symptoms will return if you stop taking this medication.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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