Glycine

Coping With Schizophrenia

What other names is Glycine known by?

Acide Aminoacétique, Acide Amino-Acétique, Aminoacetic Acid, Athenon, Free Base Glycine, G Salt, Glicina, Glycine de Base Libre, Glycocoll, Glycosthene, Iconyl, L-Glycine, Monazol.

What is Glycine?

Glycine is an amino acid, a building block for protein. It is not considered an "essential amino acid" because the body can make it from other chemicals. A typical diet contains about 2 grams of glycine daily. The primary sources are protein-rich foods including meat, fish, dairy, and legumes.

Glycine is used for treating schizophrenia, stroke, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and some rare inherited metabolic disorders. It is also used to protect kidneys from the harmful side effects of certain drugs used after organ transplantation as well as the liver from harmful effects of alcohol. Other uses include cancer prevention and memory enhancement.

Some people apply glycine directly to the skin to treat leg ulcers and heal other wounds.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Treating schizophrenia, when used with other conventional medicines.
  • Treating leg ulcers, when applied as a cream that also contains other amino acids.
  • Treating the most common form of stroke (ischemic stroke). Putting glycine under the tongue may help to limit brain damage caused by an ischemic stroke when started within 6 hours of having the stroke. An ischemic stoke is caused by the blockage of a blood vessel (usually by a clot) in the brain. Brain cells beyond the obstruction don't receive oxygen and begin to die, causing irreversible damage.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of glycine for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Quick GuideSchizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

How does Glycine work?

The body uses glycine to make proteins. Glycine is also involved in the transmission of chemical signals in the brain, so there is interest in trying it for schizophrenia and improving memory. Some researchers think glycine may have a role in cancer prevention because it seems to interfere with the blood supply needed by certain tumors.

Are there safety concerns?

Glycine seems to be safe for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. Most people do not experience side effects, although there have been a few reports of nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, and drowsiness.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of glycine during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Clozapine (Clozaril)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Clozapine (Clozaril) is used to help treat schizophrenia. Taking glycine along with clozapine (Clozaril) might decrease the effectiveness of clozapine (Clozaril). It is not clear why this interaction occurs yet. Do not take glycine if you are taking clozapine (Clozaril).

Dosing considerations for Glycine.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • For treating schizophrenia: Glycine has been used in doses ranging from 0.4 to 0.8 g/kg daily in divided doses. It is usually started at 4 g daily and increased by 4 g per day until the effective dose is reached.
UNDER THE TONGUE:
  • For protecting brain cells (neuroprotection) after onset on a stroke caused by a clot (ischemic stroke): 1 to 2 g per day started within 6 hours after stroke onset.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
  • For treating leg ulcers: A cream containing 10 mg of glycine, 2 mg of L-cysteine, and 1 mg of DL-threonine per gram of cream has been used. The cream was applied at each wound cleaning and dressing change once daily, every other day, or twice daily.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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