When is CREON Needed?

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CREON is used to treat exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)* in people who have chronic pancreatitis. It’s also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-D* and a few other conditions.

For adults and children ages 4 years and older, Creon is usually taken with each meal or snack. You should not take more than your doctor’s prescribed total daily dose.

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)

Creon is used to treat exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), a condition that occurs when your pancreas doesn’t make enough digestive enzymes. Your body needs these enzymes to help digest fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

People with EPI can develop malnutrition and other serious health problems that may affect their lives. They can also have digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.

If you have EPI, your doctor may recommend pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy, or PERT, as part of your treatment plan. This prescription medication replaces the lipase, protease, and amylase that your pancreas is no longer making.

Your doctor will prescribe the right dose of Creon for you based on the severity of your EPI and how well your body responds to the medication. You should take it with every meal or snack you eat.

You should also drink lots of fluids to keep your body hydrated. The extra water will help your digestive system work properly.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-D*

IBS-D* is a type of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It can cause abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, and other gastrointestinal problems. It occurs in about 20% of adults.

Symptoms can be triggered by certain foods, medications, or emotional stress. You may have a miscommunication between the brain and your gut, called “brain-gut dysfunction.”

Your doctor might try to correct these problems by changing your diet or taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. For example, your doctor might recommend a high-fiber diet with less meat, dairy products, and processed foods.

Some drugs can help change the bacteria in your gut and relieve your symptoms. These include antibiotics or a medication that binds extra bile that causes diarrhea.

Your doctor might also suggest antidepressants if you have depression or anxiety. They can block pain signals to the brain and relieve your IBS-D symptoms.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-C

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be debilitating. The condition causes abdominal pain, cramps and bloating that can get worse when you’re stressed or nervous.

It’s a type of functional gastrointestinal disorder that affects 13-20% of Canadians. Symptoms usually improve with diet and lifestyle changes and sometimes medicines.

The cause is unknown, but some think it may be because food passes through the gut too quickly or too slowly or because nerves in your gut are sensitive. Some people may also have a family history of IBS.

A common dietary treatment is the low FODMAP diet, which excludes foods that contain high levels of certain carbohydrates. These include fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.

Chronic pancreatitis

When you have chronic pancreatitis, your pancreas can no longer produce the hormones it needs to regulate blood sugar and help you digest food. This causes problems with bowel function and can lead to malnutrition or diabetes.

It can also cause a buildup of calcium in your body, which blocks the duct that carries digestive enzymes and juices to your stomach. When this happens, your body can’t break down foods as well, leading to abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis can vary from person to person. But it often starts with a dull, recurrent or constant tummy pain.

If your symptoms aren’t relieved by medicines, you might need a surgery called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). This uses an endoscope to look at the bile and pancreatic ducts.

You may also have sacs of fluid on the surface of your pancreas, known as pseudocysts. These cysts can sometimes bleed, or they can become infected and need to be drained.

Suggested: Can You Take Creon and Drink Alcohol?