September 19, 2021

Creatine Side Efffects

As a drug favored by athletes, creatine is used to increase muscle mass and speed up recovery rates. This chemical is naturally found in the body as well as certain fish and meats. Fitness enthusiasts often purchase creatine in a supplement form. Some individuals also use creatine as a remedy for congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, Lou Gehrig’s disease, depression, bipolar disorder and rheumatoid arthritis. Overall, it is estimated that Americans purchase and use four million kilograms of this supplement every year.

Since creatine is naturally found in meat and fish, vegetarians often have lower levels of the chemical in their body. Among these individuals, supplementing with creatine can provide a heightened benefit compared to the normal population. Once the individual reaches saturation point, taking any additional creatine will not provide any more improvements in performance. Athletes will often load up on creatine to get more results from exercise and build endurance.

creatine side effectsWho Should NOT Take Creatine

Anyone who has liver or kidney disease should not take creatine. Additionally, people who have high blood pressure should avoid taking creatine since it can increase blood pressure. Women who are pregnant, may become pregnant or are nursing a child should not take creatine. There are no studies on the use of creatine during pregnancy, but any medication absorbed by the body has the potential to harm a fetus. Individuals who have diabetes should also avoid taking creatine unless it is specifically prescribed by their doctor.

Creatine Side Effects

Like every supplement, creatine comes with certain side effects. Individuals might experience abdominal pain, muscle cramping, diarrhea or nausea. To prevent some of these side effects, always drink extra water. Creatine will make the body’s muscles absorb more water and can leave individuals feeling dehydrated after a workout.

Some data indicates that high doses of creatine could negatively impact how the kidneys, heart or liver function. When mixed with caffeine or ephedra, creatine can potentially increase the person’s risk of having a stroke or irregular heartbeat. Certain individuals have also reported a skin condition known as pupuric dermatosis after they take the supplement.

The overall side effects of creatine include:

– Muscle cramps
– Upset stomachs
– Diarrhea
– Increased dizziness
– Kidney damage
– Elevated blood pressure
– Liver problems
– Weight gain
– Rhabdomyolysis
– Kidney failure
– Pupuric dermatosis
– Irregular heartbeat

Most studies on creatine show that it is safe to take for up to six months. Like all supplements and prescription drugs, users should consult with a doctor before they start taking creatine. Scientists do not know the long-term effects of creatine so patients should only take for extended periods of time if they are under a doctor’s supervision.

Warning!  Drug Interactions

Doctors believe that taking caffeine and creatine can cause undue stress on the body. Since caffeine and creatine both withdraw water from the body, individuals who use both chemicals may become severally dehydrated. Likewise, individuals who are taking diuretics should not take creatine because it increases the chances of dehydration and kidney damage.


Since creatine can potentially harm the kidneys, patients should not take creatine if they are taking any drug that affects the kidneys. This includes NSAIDs, probenicid and cimetidine. Over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen, Motrin or Advil can also increase the individual’s risk of kidney damage. Any over-the-counter medication or prescription drug should not be taken without consulting a doctor.

Before taking creatine, individuals should always consult with their doctor or a qualified medical professional first. A doctor can review risk factors and decide if taking creatine is right for you. Never use creatine while on other prescription or over-the-counter medications unless a doctor approves. There are few studies of creatine’s effect on the body over time. If an individual wants to take creatine for more than six months, they should always get their doctors approval. Individuals should also immediately seek help for any side effects or problems they have while taking creatine.