What Is EPI?

Learn about exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)

EPI is the medical term for a condition that occurs when the pancreas doesn’t
produce enough digestive enzymes. As a result, the body cannot properly digest
food into nutrients, which can lead to malabsorption.2

EPI is a condition
that affects the
pancreas

The pancreas is an organ behind the
stomach that makes 3 types of
enzymes—lipase, protease, and
amylase. These enzymes help the
body digest food into nutrients.3

Pancreatic enzymes:

  • Lipase

    breaks down fats

  • Protease

    breaks down proteins

  • Amylase

    breaks down carbohydrates

EPI is a condition
that affects the
pancreas

The pancreas is an organ behind the
stomach that makes 3 types of
enzymes—lipase, protease, and
amylase. These enzymes help the
body digest food into nutrients.3

Pancreatic enzymes:

  • Lipase

    breaks down fats

  • Protease

    breaks down proteins

  • Amylase

    breaks down carbohydrates

Food isn't digested 
properly with EPI

In people with EPI, the pancreas does
not produce enough enzymes to
properly digest food. Fats, in particular,
are hard for people with EPI to break
down. Also, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E,
and K may not be properly absorbed.2

Consequences of EPI

When there aren’t enough enzymes to
break down food due to EPI, nutrients
may not be properly absorbed by the
intestines. Unabsorbed food in the
intestines can lead to oily, loose,
foul-smelling stools, bloating, gas,
unexplained weight loss, diarrhea, and
stomach pain.2,4

Learn More About EPI Symptoms
Certain conditions are associated with EPI

Certain conditions are
associated with EPI

Learn More
Your medical history and tests can help determine if you have EPI

Your medical history and tests can
help determine if you have EPI

See How

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. Fieker A, Philpott J, Armand M. Enzyme replacement therapy for pancreatic insufficiency: present and future. Clin Exp Gastroenterol. 2011;4:55-73.
  5. Domínguez-Muñoz JE. Pancreatic enzyme therapy for pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2007;9(2):116-122.

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