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L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine

Molecule Description

Levocarnitine is a diet supplement used to prevent and treat low blood levels of Carnitine in children, infants and newborns below 12 years of age. Carnitine is an amino acid useful for metabolism in our body.
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Uses of L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine

Primary Carnitine deficiency is a condition in which a gene (a part of DNA) defect affects the uptake of Carnitine into the cells from blood. Secondary Carnitine deficiency is caused due to low Carnitine intake (malnutrition) or reduced amounts of Carnitine in the body due to liver, kidney (severe) and digestive diseases (that cause poor absorption), diseases that affect the mitochondria (cell structures vital for energy production), metabolic disorders (related to metabolism of fats and acids) or certain medicines like Valproate.
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Contraindications of L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine

When should one not use L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine

Allergy to Levocarnitine or any other ingredient used in the medicine.

Side effects of L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Mild stomach upset (stomach cramps or loose motions)
  • The child may feel sick (mild in nature)
  • Fishy smell from the body due to the medicine (not very common)
  • It may take longer time than usual for the blood to clot if you are taking any anti-clotting medicines like Warfarin

Precautions and Warnings of L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine

Pregnancy

Q:
Can I take L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine during pregnancy?
A:
This medicine is intended to be used in children, infants and newborns below 12 years of age.

Breast Feeding

Q:
Can I take L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine while breastfeeding?
A:
This medicine is intended to be used in children, infants and newborns below 12 years of age.

Driving

Q:
Can I drive if I have consumed L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine?
A:
It is not intended to be used in adults. This medicine is only for use in children, infants and newborns below 12 years of age.

Alcohol

Q:
Can I consume alcohol with L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine?
A:
This medicine is intended to be used in children, infants and newborns below 12 years of age.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • Any severe kidney disease (requiring dialysis)
  • A person with diabetes under treatment
  • Intolerance to sugars
  • Is taking any medicines to prevent blood clotting (Warfarin, etc.)

Mode of Action of L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine

How Does It Work?

Carnitine is an amino acid whose primary role is to convert fat from the foods we eat into energy. Deficiency of Carnitine can result in muscle weakness in hips, shoulders, hands, legs, neck, face and heart. Levocarnitine works by supplementing the deficient Carnitine in the body in a readily absorbable form.
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Interactions of L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine

Interactions with other medicines

  • Levocarnitine interacts with blood thinners (anti-coagulant medicines) like Warfarin and delays blood clotting
  • Valproic Acid taken for seizures can cause Carnitine deficiency

Interactions with food items

No significant interactions but it is advisable to take Levocarnitine 30 minutes to 1 hour before meals with water or fruit juice.

Dietary Restrictions of L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine

Mix the solution with water, fruit juices or liquid food and tell your child to drink it slowly.

Dosage of L-Carnitine / Levocarnitine / Carnitine

Overdose

Accidental overdose may not be harmful. But extreme overdose can cause complications and your child may require hospitalization. Inform your doctor in any case.

Missed a Dose

Take the missed dose as early as you remember. Check the time interval between 2 dosages prescribed by the doctor, ensure not to take two dosages close to each other (6-8 hours gap between two doses is advisable). Skip the missed dose and do not take extra medicine to compensate for the missed dose.
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Content Details

WRITTEN BY
doctor

Dr. Rukman Mecca

MBBS, MD (Community Medicine)

REVIEWED BY
doctor

Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Q: Can Levocarnitine cure Carnitine deficiency?

  • In case of secondary Carnitine deficiency which is acquired after birth due to external causes, Levocarnitine supplementation will treat the disease
  • Your child need not take this medicine forever. The medication can be stopped once the blood levels in Carnitine have reached normal levels
  • In the case of primary Carnitine deficiency which is present from birth, the medicine needs to be taken for a longer time. Your doctor will decide the dose and how long the medication needs to be taken
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  • It is advisable to check for the Carnitine levels in blood and urine regularly while on treatment

Q: Is there anything else I should know if my child is on Levocarnitine medication?

  • Do not self-medicate with Levocarnitine. The dose has to be decided by the doctor based on the condition and Carnitine levels and any self-adjustment of dosage is not recommended
  • Fishy smell of urine, breath and sweat may indicate the dose is higher. Inform your doctor immediately and he will reduce the dose
  • Levocarnitine is a highly absorbable form of Carnitine and hence you should be very careful with the dosage
Last Updated on: 24 Dec 2020 | 01:48 PM (IST)

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The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts. Please click here for detailed T&C.
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