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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.
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Related Disease Conditions
What Are the Signs That Something Is Wrong With My Kidneys?
Most of the signs of kidney diseases are unnoticed, ignored, or appear very late in the disease. Over 37 million American adults have kidney diseases, and most are not aware of it.
Hypertension-Related Kidney Disease
Second Source WebMD Medical Reference
Hypertensive Kidney Disease
High blood pressure can damage the kidneys and is one of the leading causes of kidney failure (end-stage renal kidney disease). Kidney damage, like hypertension, can be unnoticeable and detected only through medical tests. If you have kidney disease, you should control your blood pressure. Other treatment options include prescription medications.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), ARPKD, and ADPKD
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is characterized by numerous cysts in the kidneys. Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder. There are two major inherited forms of PKD, autosomal dominant PKD, and autosomal recessive PKD. Symptoms include headaches, urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, liver and pancreatic cysts, abnormal heart valves, high blood pressure, kidney stones, aneurysms, and diverticulosis. Diagnosis of PKD is generally with ultrasound, CT or MRI scan. There is no cure for PKD, so treatment of symptoms is usually the general protocol.
Diabetes and Kidney Disease
In the United States diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose increase the risk that a person with diabetes will eventually progress to kidney failure. Kidney disease in people with diabetes develops over the course of many years. albumin and eGFR are two key markers for kidney disease in people with diabetes. Controlling high blood pressure, blood pressure medications, a moderate protein diet, and compliant management of blood glucose can slow the progression of kidney disease. For those patients who's kidneys eventually fail, dialysis or kidney transplantation is the only option.
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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.
Professional side effects and drug interactions sections courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.