Generic Name: levocarnitine (oral) (LEE voe KAR ni teen)
Brand Name: Carnitor, L-Carnitine
What is levocarnitine?
Levocarnitine is a naturally occurring substance that the body needs for energy.
Levocarnitine is used to treat carnitine deficiency.
Levocarnitine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about levocarnitine?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking levocarnitine?
To make sure levocarnitine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
a history of seizures; or
if you use a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven) and you have routine "INR" or prothrombin time tests.
Levocarnitine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether levocarnitine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take levocarnitine?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
The liquid medicine can be taken alone or mixed with a beverage or soft food. Sip or eat the mixture slowly.
Levocarnitine should be taken at evenly spaced intervals every 3 or 4 hours. This medicine works best if you take it with a meal or within 30 minutes after a meal.
While using levocarnitine, you may need frequent blood tests.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking levocarnitine?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Levocarnitine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
a seizure (convulsions).
Common side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Levocarnitine dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Carnitine Deficiency:
> 18 years:
990 mg 2 to 3 times a day.
> 18 years:
1 to 3 g/day. Start dosing with 1 g/day. Doses should be spaced evenly throughout the day (every 3 or 4 hours).
50 mg/kg given as slow IV bolus injection (over 2 to 3 minutes) or by infusion. Often a loading dose is given in patients with severe metabolic acidosis followed by an equivalent dose over the next 24 hours. It should be administered every 3 to 4 hours and never less than every 6 hours. All subsequent doses are recommended to be in the range of 50 mg/kg/day.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Carnitine Deficiency:
> 1 month to 18 years:
50 to 100 mg/kg/day in divided doses. Maximum dose: 3 g/day.
> 1 month to 18 years:
50 to 100 mg/kg/day. Doses should be spaced evenly throughout the day (every 3 or 4 hours). Start dosing at 50 mg/kg/day. Maximum dose: 3 g/day.
50 mg/kg given as a slow IV bolus injection (over 2 to 3 minutes) or by infusion. Often a loading dose is given in patients with severe metabolic acidosis followed by an equivalent dose over the next 24 hours. It should be administered every 3 to 4 hours and never less than every 6 hours. All subsequent doses are recommended to be in the range of 50 mg/kg/day.
What other drugs will affect levocarnitine?
Other drugs may interact with levocarnitine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about levocarnitine
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about levocarnitine.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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