GENERIC NAME: levocarnitine oral
BRAND NAME: Carnitor, Carnitor Sugar-Free
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Levocarnitine (Carnitor) is a naturally occurring substance that the cells of mammals need to produce energy. It is used to treat carnitine deficiency. Carnitine is a small protein that binds to and helps transport fatty acids into the mitochondria, the site of energy production within cells. In the mitochondria, carnitine binds to and removes toxins from the cells.
Carnitine deficiency is a condition that prevents the body from using certain fats for energy and causes a variety of symptoms including severe brain dysfunction (encephalopathy), a weakened and enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy), muscle weakness, confusion, vomiting, and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Levocarnitine corrects low carnitine levels and reverses symptoms of carnitine deficiency. The FDA approved levocarnitine in December 1985.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Levocarnitine is used to treat carnitine deficiency.
Common side effects include:
Other reported side effects include:
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Increased risk of bleeding
- Rhabdomyolysis (break down of muscle tissue)
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