Skip main navigation



What is Creatine used for and are there any side effects?


Creatine is a dietary supplement that some people claim can build muscle and improve athletic performance. Creatine is also a naturally occurring substance found in the body. Some research studies indicate that creatine may indeed improve performance in physical activities including short sprints and weight lifting. However, creatine does not seem to build muscle or improve performance in endurance activities like swimming or distance running.

Responses to creatine vary widely amongst different people. Although there are generally few side effects, there have not been many studies conducted on creatine's side effects. Uncommon side effects from creatine include cramping, diarrhea, dizziness, dehydration and weight gain due to water retention. In rare cases, reported creatine side effects include kidney damage.

Shop for creatine products on

Back to Ask a Pharmacist


Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

Your Digital Health Advisor. Powered by WebMD. Manage diabetes with this easy online tool.* Get started.
Your Digital Health Advisor. Powered by WebMD. Manage diabetes with this easy online tool.* Get started.

Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices

20 Points
20 Points

Now you can track your blood pressure and blood glucose.

Start earning points Go Arrow