Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy (most commonly Creon 40,000)
What is Creon?
Creon is a pancreatic enzyme supplement that you can take when your body cannot make enough of the enzyme on its own. It comes in the form of large capsules that you take orally.
Why do I need Creon?
A blockage in the pancreatic duct, or removal of part of the pancreas, can cause a change in the flow and amount of pancreatic juice. Pancreatic juice contains enzymes that help the body to digest and absorb nutrients such as fat, carbohydrate and protein.
If your body cannot produce enough pancreatic juice, you will have difficulty getting nourishment from foods and, eventually, you will lose weight. Studies have shown that taking a pancreatic enzyme like Creon can improve the absorption of nutrients from the digestive system and help prevent weight loss.
Signs that indicate that taking a Creon supplement would be helpful are:
- pale stools (bowel motions) that do not flush away easily;
- loose bowel motions;
- abdominal pain and bloating after eating; and
- good appetite and food intake but with continuing weight loss.
How should I take Creon?
Creon capsules should be taken at least 15 minutes before eating food. It is usual to start taking one capsule before each meal and, if necessary, this can be increased. Your doctor and dietitian will advise you. If you are more comfortable eating smaller, frequent meals, with for example three snacks a day, it may be necessary to take one capsule before each snack. The capsules can be swallowed whole. If you find this difficult, you can open the capsule and mix the granules with fluid or soft food. Please remember that if you do this, it is important that you take the fluid or food immediately, so that you get the full effect of the granules.
- The granules must not be crushed or chewed.
- It is important that you try to drink plenty of fluid every day.
- You may find that some foods, particularly fatty foods, do not agree with you.
A dietitian will be able to provide advice or supplementary information on managing your diet.