Adults, children, and infants who have certain medical conditions that cause low levels of pancreatic digestive enzymes may receive Creon. This drug contains a combination of lipases, proteases, and amylases that are taken from the pancreatic glands in pigs. Creon use can help replace digestive enzymes, which helps to break down food and increase absorption of the nutrients into the body.
Creon® (pancrelipase) is a prescription medication approved to treat pancreatic enzyme deficiencies due to various conditions, such as:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
- A partially or completely removed pancreas
- Other conditions.
The pancreas is an organ that has two general functions. It is probably most well known for its role in secreting insulin and various other types of hormones. This is known as the endocrine (hormonal) function of the pancreas.
However, the pancreas has another important role. It is responsible for producing several different digestive enzymes that help to break food down into smaller molecules that can be absorbed and used by the body. Various conditions can decrease pancreatic enzyme production. This can lead to malnutrition, as the nutrients cannot be absorbed; it can also cause digestive problems, such as diarrhea and fatty stools. Vitamin deficiencies may also occur.
Creon is used to replace the deficient digestive enzymes, allowing the food to be broken down and absorbed into the body.
Creon contains a mixture of different pancreatic enzymes taken from the pancreatic glands in pigs. Specifically, it contains lipases, proteases, and amylases. Lipases help to digest fats, proteases help to digest proteins, and amylases help to digest starches.