Acute Quadriceps Compartment Syndrome and Rhabdomyolysis in a Weight Lifter Using High-Dose Creatine Supplementation

Stacey J. Robinson, CAPT, USAF MC, Department of Family Practice, 6th Medical Group, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

J Am Board Fam Med. 2000;13(2) 

In This Article


Creatine is the most profitable nutritional supplement marketed today, used by professional, college, recreational, and even high-school athletes. Physicians should inquire about creatine use and be prepared to discuss its potential risks and benefits. Because creatine is not FDA-regulated, manufacturers are not required to give any dosing recommendations, and there is no safety profile. Furthermore, the risks of higher doses and long-term use are unknown. As for many other nutritional supplements, studies investigating the side effects of creatine are lacking, and patients must consider the risks of taking a non-FDA-regulated supplement. Although a causal relation cannot be proved with respect to creatine and the patient described in this article, this case raises further suspicion regarding the safety of creatine with higher doses and long-term use.


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