Fatigue in patients with mitochondrial cytopathies is associated with decreased basal and postactivity muscle phosphocreatine (PCr). Creatine monohydrate supplementation has been shown to increase muscle PCr and high-intensity power output in healthy subjects. We studied the effects of creatine monohydrate administration (5 g PO b.i.d. x 14 days --> 2 g PO b.i.d. x 7 days) in 7 mitochondrial cytopathy patients using a randomized, crossover design. Measurements included: activities of daily living (visual analog scale); ischemic isometric handgrip strength (1 min); basal and postischemic exercise lactate; evoked and voluntary contraction strength of the dorsiflexors; nonischemic, isometric, dorsiflexion torque (NIDFT, 2 min); and aerobic cycle ergometry with pre- and post-lactate measurements. Creatine treatment resulted in significantly (P < 0.05) increased handgrip strength, NIDFT, and postexercise lactate, with no changes in the other measured variables. We concluded that creatine monohydrate increased the strength of high-intensity anaerobic and aerobic type activities in patients with mitochondrial cytopathies but had no apparent effects upon lower intensity aerobic activities.