Your Diet and Lifestyle on CREON

Making healthy choices with EPI

In addition to taking CREON to help manage your Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI), you may also need to make changes to daily habits that affect your health—diet and lifestyle.2

A couple holds serves food

Eating healthy with EPI

Everyone should eat a healthy, balanced diet. But because EPI affects how well you absorb nutrients, it’s even more important that the food you eat has lots of nutrients. You also need to remember to take your CREON with every meal and snack, because CREON replaces the enzymes your pancreas normally produces every time you eat.1

Don’t forget to talk to your doctor, or nutritionist about what you’re eating—they’ll help you make sure your diet meets your nutritional needs. The Diet Tracker will help you keep a record of what you’re eating and how you’re feeling. Make sure to share this information with your doctor or nutritionist during your next appointment.

Download Diet Tracker
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Capsules shown are not actual size and do not represent actual color shade.

Taking vitamins and supplements

If you have EPI, you may not be able to properly absorb nutrients from food, especially fats. Having EPI also makes it more difficult to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, including A, D, E, and K. In addition to CREON, your doctor may also prescribe vitamin supplements if you have EPI. Adding supplements to your diet can help keep your levels of fat-soluble vitamins where they should be.2-4

A man and woman exercise

Making lifestyle changes

It’s important to adopt healthy habits that go beyond a well-balanced diet. This includes getting an appropriate amount of exercise. Think about your interests and abilities, then work with your doctor to develop a fitness plan that fits your lifestyle. Other lifestyle modifications include limiting how much alcohol you drink and quitting cigarette smoking.2,5,6

A delicious looking sandwich sits on a plate

Keeping a healthy diet with EPI and cystic fibrosis (CF)

People with EPI due to CF need to take pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy like CREON. Additionally, they need to eat foods high in fats, calories, proteins, and other nutrients.7,8

This does not mean people with EPI and CF should eat unhealthy foods like french fries covered in cheese. Proper food intake needs to be well-balanced at meals and snacks. Maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. If you don't already have a nutritionist or registered dietitian as part of your CF healthcare team, talk to your doctor about adding one. A registered dietitian can help you develop a nutrition plan that contains foods that taste great, are healthy, and help meet your calorie needs.7,8

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Your doctor will adjust your CREON dose to you and your needs

Learn About Dosing
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CREON can help break down food and release nutrients

Find Out How
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Hear from other people who have EPI

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Uses and Important Safety Information


CREON is a prescription medicine used to treat people who cannot digest food normally because their pancreas does not make enough enzymes due to cystic fibrosis, swelling of the pancreas that lasts a long time (chronic pancreatitis), removal of some or all of the pancreas (pancreatectomy), or other conditions.

Important Safety Information

  • CREON may increase your chance of having a rare bowel disorder called fibrosing colonopathy. The risk of having this condition may be reduced by following the dosing instructions that your doctor gave you.
  • Do not crush or chew CREON capsules or its contents, and do not hold the capsule or capsule contents in your mouth. Crushing, chewing, or holding the CREON capsules in your mouth may cause irritation in your mouth. Talk to your doctor or consult the CREON Medication Guide for how to take CREON if you have trouble swallowing capsules. Always take CREON with a meal or snack and enough liquid to swallow CREON completely. Take CREON exactly as your doctor tells you.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have unusual or severe: stomach (abdominal) pain, bloating, trouble passing stool, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, worsening of painful, swollen joints (gout), or allergic reactions including trouble with breathing, skin rashes, or swollen lips.
  • The most common side effects include: increased (hyperglycemia) or decreased (hypoglycemia) blood sugars, pain in your stomach area (abdominal area), frequent or abnormal bowel movements, gas, vomiting, dizziness, or sore throat and cough.
  • CREON and other pancreatic enzyme products are made from the pancreas of pigs, the same pigs people eat as pork. These pigs may carry viruses. Although it has never been reported, it may be possible for a person to get a viral infection from taking pancreatic enzyme products that come from pigs.

Refer to the CREON Medication Guide and Full Prescribing Information every time you refill your prescription because information may change. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any symptom or side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

You are encouraged to report negative adverse effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you cannot afford your medication, contact

Reference: 1. CREON [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie Inc.

  1. References:
  2. CREON [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie Inc.
  3. Domínguez-Muñoz JE. Pancreatic enzyme therapy for pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2007;9(2):116-122.
  4. Alkaade S, Vareedayah AA. A primer on exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, fat malabsorption, and fatty acid abnormalities. Am J Manag Care. 2017;23(suppl 12):S203-S209.
  5. Ferrone M, Raimondo M, Scolapio JS. Pancreatic enzyme pharmacotherapy. Pharmacotherapy. 2007;27(6):910-920.
  6. Lindkvist B. Diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. World J Gastroenterol. 2013;19(42):7258-7266.
  7. Perbtani Y, Forsmark CE. Update on the diagnosis and management of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. F1000Research. 2019. doi:10.12688/f1000research.20779.1
  8. Somaraju UR, Solis-Moya A. Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy for people with cystic fibrosis (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2016;11. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008227.pub3.
  9. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). The National Pancreas Foundation website. Accessed April 14, 2021.

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