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Protease is used to relieve symptoms of indigestion such as gas, feeling of fullness etc. experienced after meals. It is used in conditions (such as chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, cancer of the pancreas, post-pancreatectomy, post-gastrointestinal bypass surgery) where the pancreas are unable to produce and release certain substances (enzymes) into the small intestine that are essential for digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in food. It is usually used in combination with other enzymes (lipase and amylase).

How it works

Protease belongs to the class of medications called pancreatic enzyme preparations.  It is a synthetic form of enzyme protease and helps break down protein, fats and carbohydrates in food thereby aiding digestion. 

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Flatulence, Abdominal bloating, Abdominal pain, Constipation, Headache, Diarrhoea


Expert advice

  • Always take protease medications with meals or snacks and swallow with plenty of fluid. Take care not to exceed the prescribed dose on days when you are eating too many meals or snacks.
  • Contact your doctor immediately if you experience unusual and severe bloating, stomach ache, difficulty in passing stools, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • You may be recommended regular monitoring of uric acid levels in blood.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you experience difficulty in breathing, sudden skin reactions, itching, swollen lips, fall in blood pressure, rapid heart rate or fainting
  • Give protease medication to your baby (less than 12 months), before feeding formula or breastmilk. Do not mix the medicine in formula or breastmilk. 
  • Ensure that contents of medication have been swallowed completely by your baby by giving plenty of water.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • It should not take if patients is allergic to protease or its ingredients.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is protease an enzyme, coenzyme or a cofactor?
Protease is an enzyme, not coenzyme or cofactor.

Q. Is protease found in saliva or the stomach?
Protease is found in the saliva as well as the digestive tract of the body. 

Q. Does protease break down starch?
Protease breaks down proteins but not starch. Amylase breaks down starch.

Q. Does protease kill good bacteria/ virus/ yeast/ candida?
Proteases is believed to kill good bacteria, virus, yeast, and candida.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)