CREON Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about EPI
and CREON

EPI is a condition that affects your pancreas. Your pancreas makes proteins called enzymes, which help break down food so that nutrients can be absorbed by the body. If you have EPI, your pancreas does not release or produce enough enzymes to properly break down food. Learn more about EPI.2
Pancreatectomy is a general term for the surgical removal of the pancreas. A complete pancreatectomy is the removal of the entire pancreas and parts of surrounding organs. A partial pancreatectomy is the removal of part of the pancreas and sometimes parts of surrounding organs. If you have had a partial pancreatectomy, you may experience diabetes or EPI. If you have had a complete pancreatectomy, you will very likely develop diabetes and EPI.3
CP is inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve; instead, it gets worse over time, and may lead to permanent damage. Many patients with CP also have EPI because the pancreas becomes so damaged that it can no longer produce enough digestive enzymes.4,5
CF is a genetic disease that causes the body to produce thick, sticky mucus. This mucus clogs the lungs and leads to lung infections. The mucus also affects the digestive system by clogging the pancreas. Most people with CF also have EPI.4,6
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.1
CREON does not cure EPI. CREON can help replace the digestive enzymes normally produced by the pancreas. These enzymes help break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in food. Learn more about how CREON works.
Take CREON exactly as your doctor tells you to take it. Always take CREON with a meal or snack and enough liquid to swallow CREON completely. 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 or change the way CREON works in your body. Learn more about how to take CREON.
Your doctor will provide you with instructions on how much CREON to take for both meals and snacks. When eating snacks, you typically need half the dose needed for meals. If you have questions, it's important to ask your doctor.
If you miss a dose, call your doctor or wait until your next meal or snack to take your usual number of capsules. Take your next dose at your usual time and do not make up for missed doses. Your dose should not be doubled.
The most common side effects include: increased blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) or decreased blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), pain in your stomach area, frequent or abnormal bowel movements, gas, vomiting, dizziness, or sore throat and cough. Always carefully discuss the risks and benefits of CREON with your doctor.
In one clinical trial, some cystic fibrosis patients who took very high doses of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) experienced a narrowing of the large intestine (fibrosing colonopathy). This condition is serious and may require surgery. The risk of having this condition may be reduced by following the dosing instructions that your doctor gave you. CREON should be used with caution in patients who have gout, impaired kidney function, or a high concentration of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia). It should also be used with caution in patients with pork allergies. There may be a risk of viral transmission with pancreatic enzyme products, including CREON. CREON should always be taken with food. CREON should not be crushed or chewed. Please see the CREON Medication Guide and Full Prescribing Information for more information. Always check with your healthcare professional and carefully discuss the risks and benefits before taking CREON.
  • Store CREON at room temperature below 77°F (25°C). Avoid heat.
  • You may store CREON at a temperature between 77°F to 104°F (25°C to 40°C) for up to 30 days. Throw away any CREON that has been stored at these temperatures for more than 30 days.
  • Keep CREON in a dry place and in the original container.
  • After you open the bottle, keep it closed tightly between uses to protect against moisture.
  • Keep CREON out of the reach of children.
See the CREON Medication Guide and Full Prescribing Information to learn more.
CREON is often covered by insurance. Contact your insurance provider to find out if CREON is covered under your particular insurance policy. You may also be eligible to save money on your CREON prescription through the CREON Co-Pay Assistance Program.
The AbbVie Patient Assistance Foundation (PAF) provides AbbVie medicines at no cost to qualified patients who are experiencing financial difficulties. Your doctor may apply for the AbbVie PAF on your behalf. Talk to your doctor to see if you qualify. Visit www.abbviepaf.org for more information.
No. You should not switch CREON with any other pancreatic enzyme product. If you have any questions about your prescription, check with your doctor. Learn more about CREON.
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Uses and Important Safety Information

Uses1

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 www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you cannot afford your medication, contact www.pparx.org.

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

  1. References:
  2. CREON [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: AbbVie Inc.
  3. Ferrone M, Raimondo M, Scolapio JS. Pancreatic enzyme pharmacotherapy. Pharmacotherapy. 2007;27(6):910-920.
  4. Gardner TB, Warner AS, eds. Questions & Answers About Diseases of the Pancreas. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2012.
  5. Fieker A, Philpott J, Armand M. Enzyme replacement therapy for pancreatic insufficiency: present and future. Clin Exp Gastroenterol. 2011;4:55-73.
  6. Chronic pancreatitis. The National Pancreas Foundation website. http://animatedpancreaspatient.com​/en​/chronic-pancreatitis-animation.phtml. Accessed August 11, 2015.
  7. About cystic fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website. https://www.cff.org​/What-is-CF​/About-Cystic-Fibrosis/. Accessed August 11, 2015.

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