Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Creon 40,000 temporarily unavailable

The manufacturer of Creon has written to healthcare professionals advising that Creon 40,000 capsules are temporarily unavailable due to manufacturing yield problems.

A letter from the manufacturer notes that Creon is a biological product and lower than expected yields of high-potency enzymes from porcine glands has impacted on the current availability of the 40,000 strength product. This issue does not impact upon the lower dose products and therefore Creon 25,000 and 10,000 remain available.

It is therefore recommended that an equivalent dose of a lower dose be used with a preference to use the 25,000 strength product to reduce the number of capsules taken by individual patients.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this supply issue. It may be prudent to run clinical system searches to identify any patients who are currently prescribed this product to allow a review and an alternative to be arranged.

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37 Comments to “Creon 40,000 temporarily unavailable”

  1. I've just been prescribed the Creon 40,000 in Australia. None of the chemists have them in stock or an ETA. I contacted the supplier and was told they do not have in stock and there is no ETA so they don't know if they will be release any in the future. This seems to be a result of Baxters selling off the Creon products to Mylan.

    Comment by Christine — February 18, 2018 #

  2. Hospital has just told my husband to take 40,000 Creon as he has been on 3x25,000 for eight years can't see go till end of October. So, will he be ok to take 2x25,000 morning 1x25,000 lunch and teatime which gives him 100,000 where 40,000 three times a day would be 120,000.

    Comment by Wendy Middleton — October 6, 2017 #

    1. @Wendy

      What you suggest would be fine, or the other option is two 25,000 in the morning, one 25,000 at lunch and two 25,000 at teatime giving a total daily intake of 125,000. That's a bit closer but the dose he needs will be governed by his symptoms when taking each dose.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — October 6, 2017 #

  3. Why is Creon 40,000 available in the U.S.A. & Canada but not the UK & Europe?

    Comment by Jeff D — April 4, 2017 #

    1. @Jeff D

      I suspect this is down to availability of the raw materials used to manufacturer Creon 40,000. They are not currently widely available in Europe but seemingly they are available in North America. Perhaps the North American supply level is only enough for that market are also which is why it isn't being exported to Europe.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — April 4, 2017 #

  4. Hi everybody,
    We received a letter regarding Creon 40,000 from the hospital yesterday (in Belgium).
    It is written that Creon 40,000 should be soon available again but in very limited quantities. They ask us if we think Creon 40,000 is more efficient than 25,000 and how many pills we take in 25,000 and in 40,000.
    Sorry for my bad English.

    Comment by Stephanie — March 22, 2017 #

    1. @Stephanie

      Thanks for that information, hopefully if Creon 40,000 is available in mainland Europe it should also soon be available here in the UK. The limited quantities may mean we will need to be selective about who uses it though starting with those who will gain most benefit.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — March 22, 2017 #

      1. I hope the question of how many of each we take does not mean they will reduce production of 25,000 in order to be able to produce 40,000 again. If it is the case, let's hope they are good at mathematics otherwise we could face a shortage of both 25,000 & 40,000!

        Comment by Stephanie — March 24, 2017 #

  5. My husband is having difficulties getting Creon 25,000 now. He has run out completely, is there an alternative? Does anyone know? Very worrying.

    Comment by Alison Kilcoyne — March 27, 2016 #

    1. @Alison,

      There are alternatives but the supply problems with Creon may have a knock on effect. Best port of call is to discuss with your usually pharmacy what they can currently obtain.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — April 2, 2016 #

      1. Thanks Matthew for your reply. My husbands GP and pharmacist seem to be having problems coming up with an alternative to Creon. We are searching for an alternative at the moment.

        Comment by Alison Kilcoyne — April 6, 2016 #

  6. Good Evening,

    After the last issue with the 40,000 Creon or should I say LACK of them I find out today that the 25,000 are now not in stock!! I did try the Pancreat but my body totally rejected those so then it was nearly double dosing the 25,000mg which has taken me a while to get adjusted to only to find out today there is no stock of them. My Pharmacy only had 300 left on her shelf and has no idea of when there will be more available.
    I've checked the website and I can see nothing there about the shortage of the 25,000 has anyone else had any problem with this dose?

    Lynda Smith

    Comment by Lynda Patricia Smith — March 24, 2016 #

    1. @Lynda,

      I'm not aware of any issues with the 25,000 strength at the moment, do you know if your pharmacy spoke with their wholesaler or the manufacturer of Creon? It's not that uncommon for a wholesaler to be out of stock when the manufacturer says they have stock widely available.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — March 24, 2016 #

      1. I too have just been advised by my chemist that Creon 25,000 is not available and they do not know when they will be getting any in. This is very worrying as the pharmacist told me they are not aware of an alternative!!!

        Comment by Lesley — March 26, 2016 #

        1. @Lesley,

          I find it more worrying that your pharmacy can't find an alternative to recommend - it isn't difficult to look it up in a book and then check supply levels. Low strength alternatives (similar to Creon 10,000) are Pancrex and Pancrex V and higher strength alternatives (equivalent to Creon 25,000 and 40,000) are Nutrizym 22 and Pancrease HL.

          The supply difficulties with Creon 40,000 and now apparently the 25,000 strength also may have a knock on impact on supply of these alternatives but there are options.

          Comment by Matthew Robinson — March 26, 2016 #

    2. I too cannot find any Creon. Why are we not told about it? I was on 40,000 now 25,000 I have to increase how many I take. I am feeling a bit scared as this has happened over the easter weekend. I have one bottle left.

      Comment by M Moss — March 25, 2016 #

      1. @Marie,

        Your pharmacy are in the best position to inform you about availability of any medication because they have regular contact with their wholesalers, are able to contact manufacturers direct and are the suppliers of the medication direct to you.

        Comment by Matthew Robinson — March 26, 2016 #

    3. I have also been relying on 25,000 Creon capsules since the 40,000 became unavailable. My last prescription was only half filled as the pharmacy told me that they were unable to obtain supplies!? I have found no information on any website to alert patients that there is a shortage of 25000 capsules. My GP has advised me to take 10000 capsules when I run out of the 25000. It is very frightening to be in this position, without a pancreas I am totally reliant on this medication. Could do without this added stress!

      Comment by Carolyn Powell — March 25, 2016 #

      1. @Carolyn,

        I have not seen any information about a shortage of the 25,000 strength product - conversely a letter was sent and widely distributed by the manufacturer when the 40,000 was running low. I'm not sure if this is a local issue with a wholesaler or a wider problem but I'll try to check when I'm next in work.

        Comment by Matthew Robinson — March 26, 2016 #

    4. I also have been taking 25,000s due of the shortage of 40,000s.
      My last script took nearly a week to fulfil as the pharmacist had to ring around to find supplies.
      I am now taking 30 X 25,000s daily but my doctor will only give me the number of tablets that were prescribed when I was on 40,000s so they are running out more quickly.
      There is nothing online re the 25,000 shortage, all very worrying for us all!

      Comment by Su W — May 6, 2016 #

      1. @Su W,

        I just spoke to the manufacturer and stock of the 25,000 is being sent to wholesalers regularly. I suspect the issues you are seeing is a knock on effect of the 40,000 product being unavailable and there being an increase in demand for the 25,000 product.

        Comment by Matthew Robinson — May 6, 2016 #

  7. It's now February 2016 I am still hoping Creon 40,000 will come back as I've been on Creon 25,000 for nearly a whole year. Now they say they are the same but they're not as I myself have had problems with taking the alternative dose that is 10 capsules with each meal and 6 with a snack. I know Abbott Healthcare sold the product to another company but you would have thought the issue would have been resolved by now. My own GP has told me I should change to another type called Pancrease HL, but I am unsure what these are as there is insufficient information about these. Has anyone else been offered the above tablet and if so any information would be helpful.

    Comment by Chris — February 11, 2016 #

    1. @Chris

      Abbott Healthcare are still the owner and manufacturer of this product and unfortunately they today confirmed that the same supply issue is ongoing with no expected date of resolution.

      The alternative (corrected in your comment above) is called Pancrease HL and while it is a higher strength product it is not identical to Creon 40,000 as it has a lower lipase content. If you are having problems with your current treatment however and change may be worth trying as the alternative might well suit you better.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — February 23, 2016 #

  8. My Husband has been taking Creon 40,000 since 2009 has he has no stomach & pancreas.
    due to stomach cancer so this last 3 months has had to change to the 25,000 2 morning 1 lunch & 2 evening meal, has been having discomfort etc since. I wish the 40,000 would hurry up & come back on market can't understand why there is a problem. It is not correct for other people to have to suffer.

    Comment by Ann Parsons — November 12, 2015 #

    1. @Ann

      I managed to find a few minutes spare to call the company today. They confirm that the supply issues continue and unfortunately they have no date of resolution for the current manufacturing problems. They are working on the problems and confirm that the product is not discontinued.

      If you husband is experiencing problems with his current medication or dose he needs to see his doctor to get some advice on how things can be improved since it seems that this situation is not going to be resolved in the short term.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — November 13, 2015 #

  9. I had my two thirds of my pancreas removed in 2005 and have been on the 40,000 since then. I have been ok they have worked ok with the rest of my medication I was on 3 three times a day. Now I'm on 25,000 and have to take 15 tablets a day along with the rest of my medication along with insulin (humulin m3) twice a day since taken the lower dose and more tablets. I have been unwell I would be grateful if you could advise when the 40,000 will be back.

    Comment by Eliz Mcgregor — October 30, 2015 #

  10. My pancreas is working on reduced function and I am a diabetic type 2. My prescription is for 2 in creon 40,000 taken after meals 4 times a day. My stomach became very upset taking 32 x 10,000 capsules a day so reading medicine information it is recommended to open the capsule and mix creon with orange juice. It doesn't mix very well but it's possible to swill it and swig it down. My stomach is very much better. Soaked the empty tubes in and they swell up. Hoping for return of creon 40,000 soon.

    Comment by Wjhair — September 27, 2015 #

  11. Thank you Matthew. I have not been well since taking the 10,000 x 8. I'll tell my doctor about 2 x 25,000 and hope the 40,000 comes back soon, I'm losing to much weight. Keep in touch.

    Comment by Maureen — September 15, 2015 #

  12. How many will I need to take on 25,000 and 10,000? I used to take 40,000 x2 with every meal and snack please help.

    Comment by Maureen — September 14, 2015 #

    1. @Maureen,

      You could take 2 x 25,000 (so 50,000) or 1 x 25,000 and 1 x 10,000 (35,000). Perhaps just using 25,000 capsules keeps things simpler but the dose equivalent is closer with the mixture.

      Interestingly, I spoke to a pharmacy last week who had managed to obtain a supply of the 40,000 capsules, so perhaps they are returning to supply now. Unfortunately I didn't have tome to call the manufacturers and check.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — September 14, 2015 #

  13. 40,000 creon is not equal to 4* 10,000.
    40,000 creon has much less protease enzyme than 4* 10,000. I think too much protease can harm ..

    Comment by Ank — August 26, 2015 #

    1. @Ank

      The conversions may not be identical, but while the 40,000 creon is out of supply it is the best option we have available. It's not perfect but it's better than nothing.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — August 27, 2015 #

  14. Got my Creon 25000 today, they are available. No news on when 40000 will be back.
    I will have to take 8 capsules each meal now, won't need any food after taking all them be full!

    Comment by Trevor Jones — August 25, 2015 #

  15. My friend can't get Creon 25000 either so her husband, who has Alzheimers too, is having to take 8 x 10000 with each meal which is an impossibility. His GP can't get their heads around the dosage formula and keep short changing them. It's causing huge problems for them and being in their 80's they shouldn't have to chase GP's and Chemists to no avail. Where are all the 25000's too?

    Comment by Karen Pollard — August 11, 2015 #

    1. @Karen

      I was not aware of any issue with the 25,000 strength product and have just double checked this with the manufacturer. They have confirmed to me that there are no supply problems with the 25,000 strength so I suspect this is a local issue with pharmacies in your area. Ask them to contact the manufacturer direct and see if that helps.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — August 13, 2015 #

  16. Dear Lynda, I also am on creon 40000. I have to take 2 with every meal and snacks. I was advised to sometimes take 3 depending on the meal. I also took me 12 months to adjust to the 40,000. Now I have also to take 3 25,000 and 1 10,0000. I am having great difficulty in adjusting to this and feel quite unwell. Stomach pains and feeling sick and quite tired. I am very upset about all this and hope that the situation will be resolved soon. If I hear anything, as I have been on the the manufactures of creon, they were very apologetic but could give me no date as to when the 40,000 would be back in stock. Forwarding manufactures address:- BGP Products Ltd. Abbott House,Vanwall Business Park. Vanwall RS. Maidenhead. Berkshire. SL6 4XE Tele: 01628 773355. Regards Frances.

    Comment by Frances Lord — July 11, 2015 #

  17. Good Afternoon,
    As a patient using Creon 40,000 & having MAJOR pancreatic problems this is devastating news!! It has taken me a whole year to get stable & maintain my weight only to find this medication is not available for the time being!!
    Is there no indication of when this dose will be available at all? I have been prescribed a totally different type of enzyme which also carries a totally different dose which could take me another year to come to terms with!!
    As I take a large dose of the 40,000 my GP advised that to take the lower 10,000 dose it would mean I would be taking in the region of twenty & sometimes even more of the Creons to replace the dose I require!!
    Any news at ALL when the 40,000 become available would be really useful.

    Comment by Lynda Smith — July 3, 2015 #

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