Papaya enzyme is often taken orally to remedy stomach aches. Papaya contains papain, which is a digestive enzyme. Ingesting this enzyme can help speed digestion and soothe the stomach. Papaya enzyme has many other uses, including reducing fever, pain and swelling. Although papaya enzyme is a natural supplement and generally quite gentle and well-tolerated, there are a few (albeit rare) side effects.

Allergic Reactions

It is possible to develop allergic reactions to papaya enzymes if you take too much. Itchiness, hives or even trouble breathing can result. To reduce the possibility of this happening, take only dosages recommended on the packaging.


Despite the fact that papaya enzyme is use to treat ulcers, it can also cause them if the dosage of the enzyme consumed is too high. It can also cause esophageal irritation, which can feel like heartburn.

Stomach Upset

Occasionally, nausea and abdominal pain may occur when taking papaya enzyme. This is usually mild and will stop when you quit taking the supplements.

Slowed Heartbeat

A slower heartbeat can also be a rare side effect of taking papaya enzyme. If this occurs and does not improve, you should consult your physician.

Interactions with Medications

There are a few medications with which papaya enzyme can interact. If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking papaya enzyme. This is especially true if you are taking digestive enzymes or warfarin.