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 #
    Reply

  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 #
    Reply

    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 #
      Reply

  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 #
    Reply

    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 #
      Reply

  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 #
    Reply

    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 #
      Reply

      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 #
        Reply

  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 #
    Reply

    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 #
      Reply

      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 #
        Reply

  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 #
    Reply

    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 #
      Reply

      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 #
        Reply

        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 #
          Reply

    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.
      Marie

      Comment by M Moss — March 25, 2016 #
      Reply

      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 #
        Reply

    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 #
      Reply

      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 #
        Reply

    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 #
      Reply

      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 #
        Reply

  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 #
    Reply

    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 #
      Reply

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