Common side effects of creatine include diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain and increased weight, according to Drugs.com. Some people may experience muscle cramping after taking creatine. Side effects may affect men or women.
Other possible side effects of creatine include difficulty breathing, gaining weight rapidly, swelling and a pounding heartbeat, states Drugs.com. Some people may experience symptoms of being dehydrated, which include sweating heavily, not being able to urinate, feeling hot and being thirsty. Some people may have hot or dry skin due to dehydration.
Some people may show signs of an electrolyte imbalance after taking creatine, notes Drugs.com. Signs of an electrolyte imbalance include urinating more than usual, confusion, vomiting and nausea. Other signs of an electrolyte balance include convulsing, fainting, weakness or pain in the muscles, and an increased heart rate. Some people may feel light-headed after taking creatine.
Creatine may harm the kidneys, according to Drugs.com. Taking creatine alongside other medications can increase kidney damage. Medicines to avoid include pain medicines for pain or arthritis, injectable osteoporosis medications, chemotherapy medicines, and antivirals.
People who take injected antibiotics, medicines for bowel conditions or medications that prevent organ transplant rejections should avoid creatine, as they may increase kidney damage, states Drugs.com. Other vitamins, herbal supplements and medicines may interact with creatine, so it is important to speak to a doctor before taking it.