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Drugs and Health Products

Creatine Monohydrate

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This monograph is intended to serve as a guide to industry for the preparation of Product Licence Applications (PLAs) and labels for natural health product market authorization. It is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the medicinal ingredient.


  • Text in parentheses is additional optional information which can be included on the PLA and product label at the applicant's discretion.
  • The solidus (/) indicates that the terms are synonyms or that the statements are synonymous. Either term or statement may be selected by the applicant.


April 12, 2011

Proper name(s)

N-(aminoiminomethyl)-N-methylglycine monohydrate (Merck 2011; US NLM 2011)

Common name(s)

Creatine monohydrate (Merck 2011; US NLM 2011)

Source material(s)

Synthetic (Merck 2011; Weiss and Krommer 1998)

Route(s) of administration


Dosage form(s)

  • The acceptable pharmaceutical dosage forms include, but are not limited to chewables (e.g. gummies, tablets), caplets, capsules, strips, lozenges, or powders.
    Note: Liquids and solutions are not permitted due to lack of stability of the finished product (Dash and Sawhney 2002).
  • This monograph is not intended to include foods or food-like dosage forms such as bars, chewing gums or beverages.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:

  • Increases [body/muscle/lean] [mass/size] when used in conjunction with a resistance training regimen (Brose et al. 2003; Bemben et al. 2001; Volek et al. 1999; Vandenberghe et al. 1997).
  • Improves [strength/power/performance] in repetitive bouts of brief, highly-intense physical activity (e.g. sprints, jumping, resistance training) (by increasing [muscle/intramuscular] [creatine/phosphocreatine/energy] levels) (Okudan and Gökbel 2005; Brose et al. 2003; Preen et al. 2003; Bemben et al. 2001; Volek et al. 1999; Vandenberghe et al. 1997; Hultman et al. 1996).

Dose(s) and Duration of use

Note: Product licence applicants must include both a loading and maintenance phase dose on the Product Licence Application and product label

Table 1 Dose and duration of use for creatine monohydrate
Phase Dose (g/day) Duration of use


Footnote 1

References: Okudan and Gokbel 2005; Preen et al. 2003; Bemben et al. 2001; Vandenberghe et al. 1997; Hultman et al. 1996

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Reference: Hultman et al. 1996

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

References: Preen et al. 2003; Bemben et al. 2001; Volek et al. 1999; Vandenberghe et al. 1997; Hultman et al. 1996

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Loading Phase Option 1Footnote 1 15-20; not to exceed 5 g per dose 5-7 days
Option 2Footnote 2 3-5 Use for a minimum of 4 weeks
Maintenance PhaseFootnote 3 2-5 No statement required

Directions for use: No statement required.


Adults (≥ 18 years)

Risk information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and warning(s):

  • Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you have a kidney disorder (Pline and Smith 2005; Pritchard and Kalra 1998).
  • Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • May result in weight gain (Volek and Rawson 2004; Bemben et al. 2001; Mihic et al. 2001).


No statement required.

Known adverse reaction(s):

No statement required.

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current NNHPD Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the list.


  • The finished product must comply with the minimum specifications outlined in the current NNHPD Compendium of Monographs.
  • The finished product and/or raw material specifications must have limits for the following impurities: not more than 100 ppm creatinine; not more than 50 ppm dicyandiamide; non-detectable dihydrotriazine. The method used to detect dihydrotriazine must have a limit of detection of not more than 5 ppm.

Note: The information detailed in this section is not to be submitted with a compendial PLA, although it may be requested at Health Canada's discretion.

References cited

  • Bemben MG, Bemben DA, Loftiss DD, Knehans AW. 2001. Creatine supplementation during resistance training in college football athletes. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 33(10):1667-1673.
  • Brose A, Parise G, Tarnopolsky MA. 2003. Creatine supplementation enhances isometric strength and body composition improvements following strength exercise training in older adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Science and Medical Science 58(1):11-19.
  • Dash AK, Sawhney A. 2002. A simple LC method with UV detection for the analysis of creatine and creatinine and its application to several creatine formulations. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis 29(5):939-945.
  • Hultman E, Söderlund K, Timmons JA, Cederblad G, Greenhaff PL. 1996. Muscle creatine loading in men. Journal of Applied Physiology 81(l):232-237.
  • Merck 2011: Next link will take you to another Web site The Merck Index Version 14.1. [Internet]. Whitehouse Station (NJ): Merck & Co., Inc. Copyright © 2006, 2011 Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. [Accessed 2011 April 8].
  • Mihic S, MacDonald JR, McKenzie S, Tarnopolsky MA. 2000. Acute creatine loading increases fat-free mass, but does not affect blood pressure, plasma creatinine, or CK activity in men and women. Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise 32(2):291-296.
  • Okudan N, Gökbel H. 2005. The effects of creatine supplementation on performance during the repeated bouts of supramaximal exercise. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 45(4):507-512.
  • Pline KA, Smith CL. 2005. The effect of creatine intake on renal function. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy 39(6):1093-1096.
  • Preen D, Dawson B, Goodman C, Beilby J, Ching S. 2003. Creatine supplementation: a comparison of loading and maintenance protocols on creatine uptake by human skeletal muscle. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 13(1):97-111.
  • Pritchard NR, Kalra PA. 1998. Renal dysfunction accompanying oral creatine supplements. The Lancet 351(9111):1252-1253.
  • US NLM 2011: United States National Library of Medicine. Next link will take you to another Web site ChemIDplus advanced [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): Specialized Information Services, United States National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Health & Human Services. [Creatine monohydrate. RN: 6020-87-7. Accessed 2011 April 8].
  • Vandenberghe K, Goris M, Van Hecke P, Van Leemputte M, Vangerven L, Hespel P. 1997. Long-term creatine intake is beneficial to muscle performance during resistance training. Journal of Applied Physiology 83(6):2055-2063.
  • Volek JS, Duncan ND, Mazzeti SA, Staron RS, Putukian M, Gomez AL , Pearson DR, Fink WJ, Kraemer WJ. 1999. Performance and muscle fiber adaptations to creatine supplementation and heavy resistance training. Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise 31(8):1147-1156.
  • Volek JS, Rawson ES. 2004. Scientific basis and practical aspects of creatine supplementation for athletes. Nutrition 20(7-8):609-614.
  • Weiss S, Krommer H. 1998. Process for the preparation of creatine or creatine monohydrate. U.S. Patent 5,719,319.

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  • Saab G, Marsh GD, Casselman MA, Thompson RT. 2002. Changes in human muscle transverse relaxation following short-term creatine supplementation. Experimental Physiology 87(3):383-389.
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  • Volek JS, Mazzetti SA, Farquhar WB, Barnes BR, Gómez AL, Kraemer WJ. 2001. Physiological responses to short-term exercise in the heat after creatine loading. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 33(7):1101-1108.
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