Monday, November 14, 2005

Nephrology Cases #8: Creatine Supplements Lead to Increase in Serum Creatinine

I recently encountered an otherwise healthy 35 year old woman with a serum creatinine of 2.5 mg/dL (elevated). An initial workup was negative. Further questioning revealed that she was taking creatine supplements to enhance exercise. The supplements were stopped, and a repeat creatinine was 1.0 mg/dL (normal).

Creatine is converted into creatinine, which apparently explained the increased value. I was surprised that creatine supplements could lead to an increase in creatinine of this magnitude. I routinely ask about over the counter medications and supplements, but this experience suggests that patients with otherwise unexplained serum creatinines should be asked specifically about creatine supplementation.

A Google Scholar search on this topic is here.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Part of my monotonous mantra with my patients is, "Do you take any over the counter meds, herbal remidies, Goody Powders, eyedrops, eardrops, nose drops, use medication patches or oral contraceptives?"

This will usually cover everything that folks don't consider medicine that is medicine.