Cochrane Summaries

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Creatine for treating muscle disorders

Kley RA, Tarnopolsky MA, Vorgerd M
Published Online: 
5 June 2013

Hereditary muscle diseases usually lead to a progressive muscle weakness. Treatment is mainly symptomatic because curative therapies are lacking. Creatine, a popular nutritional supplement among athletes, improves muscle performance in healthy individuals. This is an update of our review evaluating creatine treatment in muscle disorders that was first published in 2007. At this update we identified no new studies but we had previously found 14 randomised controlled trials with 364 participants which met our defined selection criteria. The methodological quality of these studies was high, with only one exception. Analysis of pooled results showed a significant increase in muscle strength in muscular dystrophies and an improvement in activities of daily living in muscular dystrophies and inflammatory myopathies during creatine treatment compared to placebo. Significant adverse events occurred only in people with glycogen storage disease type V presenting as an increase in muscle pain episodes and impairment in activities of daily living.

This record should be cited as: 
Kley RA, Tarnopolsky MA, Vorgerd M. Creatine for treating muscle disorders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD004760. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004760.pub4
Assessed as up to date: 
11 September 2012