What is levocarnitine, 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?

Carnitor, Carnitor Sugar-Free

Is levocarnitine available as a generic drug?

Yes

Do I need a prescription for levocarnitine?

Yes

What are the side effects of levocarnitine?

Common side effects include:

Other reported side effects include:

QUESTION

The only purpose of the kidneys is to filter blood. See Answer

What is the dosage for levocarnitine?

Tablets

Which drugs or supplements interact with levocarnitine?

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 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?

What preparations of levocarnitine are available?

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

How should I keep levocarnitine stored?

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

Summary

Levocarnitine (Carnitor) is a drug prescribed to treat cartine deficiency. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

SLIDESHOW

Kidney Stones: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medically Reviewed on 3/12/2019
References
Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine

REFERENCE:

FDA Prescribing Information
CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW