What Creon Capsules are used for
Creon is a pancreatic enzyme supplement used in a condition called pancreatic exocrine insufficiency where the body does not make enough enzymes to digest food. This condition appears in a number of different patients including those with cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, or patients who have had upper gastrointestinal surgery. People with a deficiency of pancreatic enzymes often suffer with symptoms of diarrhoea, steatorrhoea (foul fatty stools which float in the toilet), bloating and weight loss. These symptoms appear because the body is unable to digest food normally. When this happens your body's ability to absorb important nutrients from food is impaired and leads to malnutrition. If left untreated these symptoms can affect your quality of life and a poor nutritional status could have long term health implications. The supplementation of pancreatic enzymes using Creon helps restore the normal digestive action in your body to relieve abdominal symptoms and improve nutritional status.
The enzymes are extracted from pancreas of pigs.
Creon capsules are approved for the uses listed above. However, your doctor may prescribe this medicine for another use. If you would like more information, ask your doctor.
Creon 25,000 and Creon 40,000 cannot be obtained without a doctor's prescription.
There is no evidence that Creon capsules are addictive.
Before you take Creon Capsules
When you must not take it
Do not take Creon capsules if you are allergic to pork, other pig products or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Do not take Creon capsules after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack. If you take this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.
Do not take Creon capsules if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering, or if the capsules do not look quite right.
Before you start to take it
You must tell your doctor if you are allergic to any other medicines or any foods, dyes or preservatives.
You must tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, are breast feeding or intend to breast feed. Your doctor will discuss whether you should take these products.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you take Creon capsules.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
You should avoid taking antacids, which are medicines that are used to treat heartburn and indigestion, when taking Creon capsules. Antacids may affect how well Creon capsules work by breaking down the special coating used to protect the pancreatic enzymes. If it is necessary to take an antacid, then it should be taken at least one hour before you take your Creon capsules.
How to take Creon Capsules
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully. These directions may differ from the information in this leaflet.
How much to take
Your doctor will tell you how many capsules to take to suit your particular needs. Do not increase the number of capsules yourself without informing your doctor.
For children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis, your doctor will have determined a dose specific to the patient's body weight and condition.
For adult patients starting Creon for the first time, the usual starting dose is 25 000 to 40 000 units of lipase with each meal and half this dose with snacks. Your doctor may need to make a number of adjustments before determining the right dose which suits you best. If needed, the dose can be increased up to 80 000 units of lipase with each meal.
It is normally not necessary to restrict your diet of fat while you are taking Creon as your symptoms will usually be under control. In people with malnutrition, getting enough fat in the diet will help improve nutrition. If unsure, you should consult your doctor or dietitian regarding your diet whilst on Creon.
If the doctor advises you to increase the dosage, you should increase the number of capsules gradually (for example, by one at a time). A very rapid increase in dosage may lead to constipation. If you are unsure how to increase the dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain it to you.
The maximum recommended dose of lipase in infants and children with cystic fibrosis is 10,000 units per kilogram body weight in 24 hours.
Patients who use more than 10,000 units per kilogram per day, will probably be monitored closely by their doctor.
When to take it
Take Creon capsules with every meal and snack.
How to take it
Swallow the capsules whole with a full glass of water or, if you prefer, open the capsules and mix the granules with soft food.
If you mix the granules with food, it is important to swallow the mixture straight away, without chewing.
Neither the capsules nor the granules inside should be chewed as they have a special coating to stop them dissolving until they have gone through the stomach and into the intestines where they work.
When you are taking Creon capsules, it is important to make sure that you drink plenty of liquid every day.
If you forget to take it
Wait until your next meal or snack and take your usual number of capsules.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.
If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for hints.
If you take too much (overdose)
If you, or anybody else, have taken too many Creon capsules, drink plenty of water and contact your doctor, pharmacist or the Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26), or go to the casualty department of the hospital nearest to you. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
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