Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy: A Concise Review
Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy is safe and effective at treating pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. There are multiple causes of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency including chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis and pancreatic cancer. Testing fecal elastase-1 level is useful for the diagnosis of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. Starting doses of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy should be at least 30-40,000 IU with each meal and 15-20,000 IU with snacks. pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy should be taken in divided doses throughout meals. Patients who do not respond to initial dosages should be evaluated for alternative etiologies and pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy optimized. Despite ease of use and benefit of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy, challenges still remain clinically and this review hopes to provide a concise guide for clinicians.
Gregory T Brennan, Muhammad Wasif Saif