levocarnitine (Carnitor, Carnitor Sugar-Free)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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What is levocarnitine-oral, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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.

What brand names are available for levocarnitine-oral?

Carnitor, Carnitor Sugar-Free

Is levocarnitine-oral available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for levocarnitine-oral?

Yes

What are the side effects of levocarnitine-oral?

Common side effects include:

Other reported side effects include:

What is the dosage for levocarnitine-oral?

Tablets

Which drugs or supplements interact with levocarnitine-oral?

Combining levocarnitine and warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) may increase the risk of bleeding by an unknown mechanism. If these drugs must be combined, the effect of warfarin treatment must be closely monitored and the dosage must be adjusted accordingly.

Is levocarnitine-oral safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Levocarnitine has not been adequately studied in pregnant women. Levocarnitine should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Levocarnitine supplementation has not been studied in nursing mothers, and it is not known whether levocarnitine is excreted into human milk.

What else should I know about levocarnitine-oral?

What preparations of levocarnitine-oral are available?

  • Oral tablets: 330 mg
  • Oral solution: 1 g/10 ml

How should I keep levocarnitine-oral stored?

Levocarnitine should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

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Reviewed on 10/14/2015
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

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