Insufficient reliable data are available, but it is generally not recommended in pregnancy.
PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING
• Creatine is a very popular sports supplement and is not a substance banned by the International Olympic Committee. Although scientific evidence supports its use in high-intensity, repetitive burst exercise, not every individual will respond. Investigation is underway to determine key characteristics of athletes most likely to respond.
• Creatine is also used in the treatment of numerous conditions involving fatigue or muscle weakness, but little evidence is available yet to determine its effectiveness.
• Creatine is used in the production of ATP, the main source of energy for muscle activity and many other biological functions.
• In practice, creatine is often taken in high doses for 5-7 days, followed by lower maintenance doses for up to 8 weeks. This is called 'loading'.
• High-dose creatine is contraindicated in renal failure.
ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What will this supplement do for me?
Creatine enhances physical power and recovery in most cases. It may also reduce mental fatigue and have a protective effect on nerves. When will it start to work?
The physical effects generally develop within 1-4 weeks of use. Are there any safety issues?
It should not be taken in high doses by people with kidney disease and its long-term safety has not been established.
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