Does Carnitor (levocarnitine) cause side effects?
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). Carnitor corrects low carnitine levels and reverses symptoms of carnitine deficiency.
Common side effects of Carnitor include
Serious side effects of Carnitor include
- low blood sugar (hypoglycemia),
- vitamin K deficiency,
- increased risk of bleeding, and
- break down of muscle tissue (rhabdomyolysis).
Drug interactions of Carnitor include warfarin, because the combination 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.
What are the important side effects of Carnitor (levocarnitine)?
Common side effects include:
Other reported side effects include:
Carnitor (levocarnitine) side effects list for healthcare professionals
Various mild gastrointestinal complaints have been reported during the long-term administration of oral L-or D,L-carnitine; these include
- transient nausea and vomiting,
- abdominal cramps, and
Mild myasthenia has been described only in uremic patients receiving D,L-carnitine. Gastrointestinal adverse reactions with Carnitor (levocarnitine) Oral Solution or Carnitor SF (levocarnitine) Sugar-Free Oral Solution dissolved in liquids might be avoided by a slow consumption of the solution or by a greater dilution.
Decreasing the dosage often diminishes or eliminates drug-related patient body odor or gastrointestinal symptoms when present. Tolerance should be monitored very closely during the first week of administration, and after any dosage increases.
Seizures have been reported to occur in patients with or without pre-existing seizure activity receiving either oral or intravenous levocarnitine. In patients with pre-existing seizure activity, an increase in seizure frequency and/or severity has been reported.
Carnitor (levocarnitine) is a naturally occurring substance that the cells of mammals need to produce energy used to treat carnitine deficiency. Common side effects of Carnitor include nausea, vomiting, belly cramps, diarrhea, muscle weakness, and body odor. Carnitor has not been adequately studied in pregnant women. Carnitor supplementation has not been studied in nursing mothers, and it is not known whether Carnitor is excreted into breast milk.
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Professional side effects and drug interactions sections courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.