Fibrosing colonopathy has been reported following treatment with different pancreatic enzyme products. 5, 6 Fibrosing colonopathy is a rare, serious adverse reaction initially described in association with high-dose pancreatic enzyme use, usually over a prolonged period of time and most commonly reported in pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis. The underlying mechanism of fibrosing colonopathy remains unknown. Doses of pancreatic enzyme products exceeding 6,000 lipase units/kg of body weight per meal have been associated with colonic stricture in children less than 12 years of age.1 Patients with fibrosing colonopathy should be closely monitored because some patients may be at risk of progressing to stricture formation. It is uncertain whether regression of fibrosing colonopathy occurs.1 It is generally recommended, unless clinically indicated, that enzyme doses should be less than 2,500 lipase units/kg of body weight per meal (or less than 10,000 lipase units/kg of body weight per day) or less than 4,000 lipase units/g fat ingested per day [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)].
Doses greater than 2,500 lipase units/kg of body weight per meal (or greater than 10,000 lipase units/kg of body weight per day) should be used with caution and only if they are documented to be effective by 3-day fecal fat measures that indicate a significantly improved coefficient of fat absorption. Patients receiving higher doses than 6,000 lipase units/kg of body weight per meal should be examined and the dosage either immediately decreased or titrated downward to a lower range.
Care should be taken to ensure that no drug is retained in the mouth. CREON should not be crushed or chewed or mixed in foods having a pH greater than 4.5. These actions can disrupt the protective enteric coating resulting in early release of enzymes, irritation of oral mucosa, and/or loss of enzyme activity [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) and Patient Counseling Information (17.1)]. For patients who are unable to swallow intact capsules, the capsules may be carefully opened and the contents added to a small amount of acidic soft food with a pH of 4.5 or less, such as applesauce, at room temperature. The CREON-soft food mixture should be swallowed immediately and followed with water or juice to ensure complete ingestion.
Caution should be exercised when prescribing CREON to patients with gout, renal impairment, or hyperuricemia. Porcine-derived pancreatic enzyme products contain purines that may increase blood uric acid levels.
CREON is sourced from pancreatic tissue from swine used for food consumption. Although the risk that CREON will transmit an infectious agent to humans has been reduced by testing for certain viruses during manufacturing and by inactivating certain viruses during manufacturing, there is a theoretical risk for transmission of viral disease, including diseases caused by novel or unidentified viruses. Thus, the presence of porcine viruses that might infect humans cannot be definitely excluded. However, no cases of transmission of an infectious illness associated with the use of porcine pancreatic extracts have been reported.
Caution should be exercised when administering pancrelipase to a patient with a known allergy to proteins of porcine origin. Rarely, severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, asthma, hives, and pruritus, have been reported with other pancreatic enzyme products with different formulations of the same active ingredient (pancrelipase). The risks and benefits of continued CREON treatment in patients with severe allergy should be taken into consideration with the overall clinical needs of the patient.
The most serious adverse reactions reported with different pancreatic enzyme products of the same active ingredient (pancrelipase) that are described elsewhere in the label include fibrosing colonopathy, hyperuricemia and allergic reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5)].
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to the rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
The short-term safety of CREON was assessed in clinical trials conducted in 121 patients with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI): 67 patients with EPI due to cystic fibrosis (CF) and 25 patients with EPI due to chronic pancreatitis or pancreatectomy were treated with CREON.
Studies 1 and 2 were randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover studies of 49 patients, ages 7 to 43 years, with EPI due to CF. Study 1 included 32 patients ages 12 to 43 years and Study 2 included 17 patients ages 7 to 11 years. In these studies, patients were randomized to receive CREON at a dose of 4,000 lipase units/g fat ingested per day or matching placebo for 5 to 6 days of treatment, followed by crossover to the alternate treatment for an additional 5 to 6 days. The mean exposure to CREON during these studies was 5 days.
In Study 1, one patient experienced duodenitis and gastritis of moderate severity 16 days after completing treatment with CREON. Transient neutropenia without clinical sequelae was observed as an abnormal laboratory finding in one patient receiving CREON and a macrolide antibiotic.
In Study 2, adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2 patients (greater than or equal to 12%) treated with CREON were vomiting and headache. Vomiting occurred in 2 patients treated with CREON and did not occur in patients treated with placebo; headache occurred in 2 patients treated with CREON and did not occur in patients treated with placebo.
The most common adverse reactions (greater than or equal to 4%) in Studies 1 and 2 were vomiting, dizziness, and cough. Table 1 enumerates adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2 patients (greater than or equal to 4%) treated with CREON at a higher rate than with placebo in Studies 1 and 2.
|Adverse Reaction|| CREON Capsules |
n = 49 (%)
| Placebo |
n = 47 (%)
|Vomiting||3 (6)||1 (2)|
|Dizziness||2 (4)||1 (2)|
An additional open-label, single-arm study assessed the short-term safety and tolerability of CREON in 18 infants and children, ages 4 months to 6 years, with EPI due to cystic fibrosis. Patients received their usual pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (mean dose of 7,000 lipase units/kg/day for a mean duration of 18.2 days) followed by CREON (mean dose of 7,500 lipase units/kg/day for a mean duration of 12.6 days). There were no serious adverse reactions. Adverse reactions that occurred in patients during treatment with CREON were vomiting, irritability, and decreased appetite, each occurring in 6% of patients.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study was conducted in 54 adult patients, ages 32 to 75 years, with EPI due to chronic pancreatitis or pancreatectomy. Patients received single-blind placebo treatment during a 5-day run-in period followed by an intervening period of up to 16 days of investigator-directed treatment with no restrictions on pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy. Patients were then randomized to receive CREON or matching placebo for 7 days. The CREON dose was 72,000 lipase units per main meal (3 main meals) and 36,000 lipase units per snack (2 snacks). The mean exposure to CREON during this study was 6.8 days in the 25 patients that received CREON.
Table 2 enumerates adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1 patient (greater than or equal to 4%) treated with CREON at a higher rate than with placebo.
|Adverse Reaction|| CREON Capsules |
n = 25 (%)
| Placebo |
n = 29 (%)
|Hyperglycemia||2 (8)||2 (7)|
|Hypoglycemia||1 (4)||1 (3)|
|Abdominal Pain||1 (4)||1 (3)|
|Abnormal Feces||1 (4)||0|
|Frequent Bowel Movements||1 (4)||0|
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