What is a Pancreas?
The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach, responsible for producing enzymes for digestion.1,2 In addition, the pancreas also produces hormones to regulate blood sugar levels in the body.2 Although a healthy pancreas is only roughly the size of a hand,2 it produces enough enzymes to break down food so that it can be absorbed by the gut into your bloodstream and used by the body. It therefore plays a major role in maintaining a healthy nutritional status.1,2,3
A healthy pancreas ensures your body gains nutrition from the food you eat1,2
The pancreas is a small organ with a big job3,4
What is Pancreatic Exocrine Insufficiency (PEI)?
A disorder called pancreatic exocrine insufficiency (PEI) can occur when your pancreas does not produce enough enzymes to break down the food you eat.5
Without these enzymes, nutrients from food are not absorbed by the body.1
What can cause PEI?
Various conditions can affect the pancreas and prevent it from producing the enzymes it needs to function properly.5
These conditions include pancreatic cancer, inflammation of the pancreas, cystic fibrosis or if your pancreas has been removed or affected by surgery.5
The most severe consequence of PEI is that your pancreas cannot break down the fats in your food and in turn, your body cannot absorb the fats from food.1
How will I know if I have PEI?
Your stools will usually indicate that something is wrong. Since the pancreas is not breaking down the nutrients from your food, especially the fats, there will be a high content of fat present in your stool. The medical term for this is “steatorrhoea”, and when this is present, stools may appear frothy, foul-smelling and difficult to flush away.1
Since the fat content in your food is not being absorbed by your body, you may also lose weight. Children with PEI are usually not able to gain weight.1
Other symptoms that you may experience include stomach pain, bloating and wind.1
Early treatment of PEI is important for good nutrition, a healthy body weight and to ease the symptoms. This could help prevent malnutrition and its complications.5,6
Live better with pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT)
The main goal of treating PEI is to replace the enzymes that your pancreas is not producing, to ensure optimal digestion of the food you eat and absorption of the nutrients. This treatment is referred to as pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT).1
Pancreatic enzyme supplements are of porcine (derived from pigs) origin.5
If you have any concerns, discuss them with your doctor.
Smart digestion in PEI with CREON®1,7,8,9
CREON® is a supplement for treating PEI and contains the enzymes your pancreas needs to help it function at its best.8,9
CREON® capsules are designed to deliver replacement enzymes at the right place and at the right time. It assists in optimising nutrient digestion and absorption.1
The CREON® capsule is designed so that it can be broken down in the stomach to release the enzymes which are contained in minimicrosphere pellets. These tiny pellets cannot be broken down by the acid in the stomach as they are enteric coated (resist stomach acids). This allows the enzyme containing pellets to mix with food in the stomach.
Once the mixture of food and enzymes passes into the small intestine, the enzymes are released from the pellets to break down the fats, proteins and carbohydrates so that the body can absorb these nutrients.
When? Your doctor will assess your need for PERT
For maximum benefit, it is important that CREON® is taken at the same time as your main meals and snacks.1,5,8,9
The correct dose of CREON® depends on your condition, symptoms, diet and weight.1,6,8,9
Your doctor or pharmacist will advise on the appropriate dose for you.
- Improves absorption of fat from food11
- Contributes to restoring weight11
- Improves growth in infants and children11
- Prevents malnutrition11
- For maximum benefit, CREON® should be taken with meals, preferably at the start of your meal.5
- Capsules should be swallowed whole and not chewed.8,9
- If you have difficulty in swallowing the capsule, it may be opened, and the pellets poured onto a spoon and swallowed without chewing.8,9
- Alternatively mix the pellets with a small amount of soft acidic food, like apple sauce and swallow without chewing.8,9
- CREON® should not be taken at the same time as antacids.1
Australasian guidelines for the management of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. 2015. Available from: http://pancreas.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/APC-GUIDELINES-2015.pdf. Last accessed 13 Sep 2017.
Pancreas – National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health. [Online]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0015631/. Last accessed 15 Sep 2017.
- The Digestive System and How it works. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. [Online]. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/digestive-systemhow-it-works. Last accessed 19 Sep 2017.
- Pancreas: Biology of the Digestive system. Merck Manual Home Edition. [Online]. Available from: http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/digestive_disorders/biology_of_the_digestive_system/pancreas.html. Last accessed 15 Sep 2017.
- Struyvenberg MR, Martin CR, Freedman SD. Practical guide to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency – Breaking the myths. BMC Medicine. 2017;15:29.
- Sikkens ECM, Cahen DL, Kuipers EJ, et al. Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy in chronic pancreatitis. Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology 2010;24:337.
- Domínguez-Muñoz JE. Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency: Diagnosis and treatment. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2011;26 (Suppl.2):12–16.
- Creon® 10000 Approved package insert, September 2005.
- Creon® 25000 Approved package insert, February 2016.
- Toouli J, et al. Management of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency: Australasian Pancreatic Club
recommendations. Med J Aust 2010;193:461–467.
- Colombo C, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of Creon for children in infants and toddlers with pancreatic exocrine insufficiency caused by cystic fibrosis. Pancreas 2009;38:693–699.
S1 Creon® 10000. Each capsule contains enteric coated granules of Pancreatin 150 mg.
S1 Creon® 25000. Each capsule contains enteric coated granules of Pancreatin 300mg.
Registration Numbers: Namibia South Africa
Creon® 10000 04/11.1/1015 33/11.1/0340
Creon® 25000 04/11.1/1016 28/11.1/0645
For full prescribing information refer to the package insert approved by the Medicines Regulatory Authority.
Abbott Laboratories S.A. (Pty) Ltd. 1940/014043/07.
Abbott Place, 219 Golf Club Terrace, Constantia Kloof, 1709.
Tel: (011) 858 2000. Publication Date: August 2020.
Promotional review number: SAF2146578