Effects of pancreatic digestive enzymes, sodium bicarbonate, and a proton pump inhibitor on steatorrhoea caused by pancreatic diseases

J Int Med Res. 1995 Jan-Feb;23(1):37-47. doi: 10.1177/030006059502300105.


Forty-five patients with pancreatic steatorrhoea (27 with calcified pancreatitis, 13 with non-calcified pancreatitis, two with pancreaticoduodenectomy, one with total pancreatectomy, and two with pancreatic cancer) were divided into four groups and given the following medication for 2 to 4 weeks: 4 to 6 g/day of sodium bicarbonate (group I); 9 g/day of high-lipase pancreatin (lipase, 56,600 U/g, Fédération Internationale Pharmaceutique (FIP); group II); 12 to 24 tablets or 9.0 g of commercial pancreatic enzyme preparations (group III); or 50 mg of omeprazole (group IV). Faecal fat excretion was evaluated before and after drug administration. Faecal fat excretion was reduced by 2.9 g (range, 1.7 to 5.0 g) in group I; 8.8 g (range, 2.9 to 39.9 g) in group II; 10.8 g (range, 2.3 to 21.8 g) in group III; and 4.3 g (range, 3.6 to 5.6 g) in group IV. The pancreatic digestive enzyme preparation was more effective than sodium bicarbonate and agents that raise the pH of the upper small intestine (such as proton-pump inhibitors) in reducing faecal fat excretion. The results indicate that all of the preparations used are effective against mild pancreatic steatorrhoea. If the condition is more advanced, however, a massive dosage of pancreatic digestive enzyme and possibly the combined use of an agent to raise the pH of the upper small intestine are likely to be effective.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Celiac Disease / drug therapy*
  • Celiac Disease / etiology
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreas / enzymology*
  • Pancreatic Diseases / complications*
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors*
  • Sodium Bicarbonate / therapeutic use*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Sodium Bicarbonate