Creatine and Creatine Kinase in Health and Disease

Volume 46 of the series Subcellular Biochemistry pp 275-289

Safety of Creatine Supplementation

  • Adam M. PerskyAffiliated withDivision of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • , Eric S. RawsonAffiliated withDepartment of Exercise Science and Athletics, Bloomsburg University

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The literature on creatine supplementation supporting its efficacy has grown rapidly and has included studies in both healthy volunteers and patient populations. However, the first rule in the development of therapeutic agents is safety. Creatine is well-tolerated in most individuals in short-term studies. However, isolated reports suggest creatine may be associated with various side effects affecting several organ systems including skeletal muscle, the kidney and the gastrointestinal tract. The majority of clinical studies fail to find an increased incidence of side effects with creatine supplementation. To date, studies have not found clinically significant deviations from normal values in renal, hepatic, cardiac or muscle function. Few data are available on the long-term consequences of creatine supplementation