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creatine levels and truvada

Jan 11, 2009

Dr, Frascino, my creatine levels have consistently increased since I started taking my current cocktail of norvir/reyataz/truvada in August. In August my lab results showed 1.3, it has now increased to 1.7, now I also started taking creatine supplements in July in conjunction with my weight training, and I love it because it gives me lots of energy and bulks me up nicely. But I don't want to sacrifice my kidneys for a HOT!! body. My doctor was concerned about the increase and scheduled an appointment with the Renal doctor, whom I saw on Friday. He says that he knows of no reason why the creatine would increase my creatine levels, however that truvada is notorious for creating increased creatine levels. Creatinine and creatine, are they one in the same? Please help me to make sense of this. Thanks so much for the work that you do.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Creatine is a naturally occurring nitrogenous organic acid. It helps supply energy to muscle and nerve cells. Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine phosphate in muscle. Studies have shown that oral creatine supplementation administered at recommended daily doses does not affect urinary creatinine levels.

Truvada has been associated with a variety of kidney problems, including elevated creatinine levels. Whether your elevated creatinine levels are caused by Truvada or an unrelated cause, it's imperative to determine if you need a dose adjustment. This involves calculating your creatinine clearance (using the Cockcroft-Gault equation). This is a much better way of assessing your kidney function than just looking at creatinine levels. If your creatinine clearance is less than 50, you should not be taking Truvada once per day. In fact you may consider switching off Truvada all together. No doubt your evaluation with the kidney specialist will help you sort this out.

Dr. Bob

Settle a bet Doc!
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