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Creon

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Creon

Creon

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Action

The pancreatic enzymes in CREON catalyze the hydrolysis of fats to monoglyceride, glycerol and free fatty acids, proteins into peptides and amino acids, and starches into dextrins and short chain sugars such as maltose and maltriose in the duodenum and proximal small intestine, thereby acting like digestive enzymes physiologically secreted by the pancreas.

Pharmacokinetics

The pancreatic enzymes in CREON are enteric-coated to minimize destruction or inactivation in gastric acid. CREON is designed to release most of the enzymes in vivo at an approximate pH of 5.5 or greater. Pancreatic enzymes are not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract in appreciable amounts.

Clinical Studies

The short-term efficacy of CREON was evaluated in three studies conducted in 103 patients with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). Two studies were conducted in 49 patients with EPI due to cystic fibrosis (CF); one study was conducted in 54 patients with EPI due to chronic pancreatitis or pancreatectomy.

Cystic Fibrosis

Studies 1 and 2 were randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover studies in 49 patients, ages 7 to 43 years, with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency due to cystic fibrosis. Study 1 included patients aged 12 to 43 years (n = 32). The final analysis population was limited to 29 patients; 3 patients were excluded due to protocol deviations. Study 2 included patients aged 7 to 11 years (n = 17). The final analysis population was limited to 16 patients; 1 patient withdrew consent prior to stool collection during treatment with CREON. In each study, 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. All patients consumed a high-fat diet (greater than or equal to 90 grams of fat per day, 40% of daily calories derived from fat) during the treatment periods.

The coefficient of fat absorption (CFA) was determined by a 72-hour stool collection during both treatments, when both fat excretion and fat ingestion were measured. Each patient's CFA during placebo treatment was used as their no-treatment CFA value.

In Study 1, mean CFA was 89% with CREON treatment compared to 49% with placebo treatment. The mean difference in CFA was 41 percentage points in favor of CREON treatment with 95% CI: (34, 47) and p < 0.001.

In Study 2, mean CFA was 83% with CREON treatment compared to 47% with placebo treatment. The mean difference in CFA was 35 percentage points in favor of CREON treatment with 95% CI: (27, 44) and p < 0.001.

Subgroup analyses of the CFA results in Studies 1 and 2 showed that mean change in CFA with CREON treatment was greater in patients with lower no-treatment (placebo) CFA values than in patients with higher no-treatment (placebo) CFA values. There were no differences in response to CREON by age or gender, with similar responses to CREON observed in male and female patients, and in younger (under 18 years of age) and older patients.

The coefficient of nitrogen absorption (CNA) was determined by a 72-hour stool collection during both treatments, when nitrogen excretion was measured and nitrogen ingestion from a controlled diet was estimated (based on the assumption that proteins contain 16% nitrogen). Each patient's CNA during placebo treatment was used as their no-treatment CNA value.

In Study 1, mean CNA was 86% with CREON treatment compared to 49% with placebo treatment. The mean difference in CNA was 37 percentage points in favor of CREON treatment with 95% CI: (31, 42) and p < 0.001.

In Study 2, mean CNA was 80% with CREON treatment compared to 45% with placebo treatment. The mean difference in CNA was 35 percentage points in favor of CREON treatment with 95% CI: (26, 45) and p < 0.001.

Chronic Pancreatitis or Pancreatectomy

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. The final analysis population was limited to 52 patients; 2 patients were excluded due to protocol violations. Ten patients had a history of pancreatectomy (7 were treated with CREON). In this study, patients received placebo for 5 days (run-in period), followed by pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy as directed by the investigator for 16 days; this was followed by randomization to CREON or matching placebo for 7 days of treatment (double-blind period). Only patients with CFA less than 80% in the run-in period were randomized to the double-blind period. The dose of CREON during the double-blind period was 72,000 lipase units per main meal (3 main meals) and 36,000 lipase units per snack (2 snacks). All patients consumed a high-fat diet (greater than or equal to 100 grams of fat per day) during the treatment period.

The CFA was determined by a 72-hour stool collection during the run-in and double-blind treatment periods, when both fat excretion and fat ingestion were measured. The mean change in CFA from the run-in period to the end of the double-blind period in the CREON and Placebo groups is shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Change in CFA in the Chronic Pancreatitis and Pancreatectomy Trial (Run-in Period to End of Double-Blind Period)

  CREON
n = 24
Placebo
n = 28
CFA [%]
  Run-in Period (Mean, SD) 54 (19) 57 (21)
  End of Double-Blind Period (Mean, SD) 86 (6) 66 (20)
Change in CFA * [%]
  Run-in Period to End of Double-Blind Period (Mean, SD) 32 (18) 9 (13)
Treatment Difference (95% CI) 21 (14, 28)
*p<0.0001

Subgroup analyses of the CFA results showed that mean change in CFA was greater in patients with lower run-in period CFA values than in patients with higher run-in period CFA values. Only 1 of the patients with a history of total pancreatectomy was treated with CREON in the study. That patient had a CFA of 26% during the run-in period and a CFA of 73% at the end of the double-blind period. The remaining 6 patients with a history of partial pancreatectomy treated with CREON on the study had a mean CFA of 42% during the run-in period and a mean CFA of 84% at the end of the double-blind period.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/27/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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