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Generic Name: lysine (LYE seen)
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What is lysine?

Lysine is an essential amino acid. Essential means that it is not produced by the body and therefore it must be taken in either by diet or by taking supplements. Lysine is found in foods such as lentils, red meat, pork, poultry, cod fish, sardines, nuts, eggs, soy beans, brewer's yeast, and dairy products.

Lysine has been used in alternative medicine as an aid to prevent cold sores around the mouth (caused by the herpes simplex virus). This product may make cold sores occur less often and may reduce the number of days a cold sore lasts. Lysine is not a cure for herpes.

Other uses for lysine include treating metabolic acidosis, improving athletic performance, and helping the body absorb calcium supplements.

Not all uses for lysine have been approved by the FDA. Lysine should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

Lysine is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Lysine may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide

What is the most important information I should know about lysine?

Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lysine?

Before using lysine, talk to your healthcare provider. You may not be able to use lysine if you have certain medical conditions.

Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use lysine if you have:

  • osteoporosis;

  • kidney disease; or

  • high levels of calcium in your blood.

It is not known whether lysine will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether lysine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.

How should I take lysine?

When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.

If you choose to use lysine, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using lysine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra lysine 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 lysine?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Lysine 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.

Common side effects may include stomach pain and diarrhea.

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)

What other drugs will affect lysine?

Lysine can increase the amount of calcium your body absorbs, and decrease the amount of calcium your body gets rid of. Ask your doctor before using calcium supplements with lysine.

Other drugs may interact with lysine, 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.

Where can I get more information?

  • Consult with a licensed healthcare professional before using any herbal/health supplement. Whether you are treated by a medical doctor or a practitioner trained in the use of natural medicines/supplements, make sure all your healthcare providers know about all of your medical conditions and treatments.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 2013-08-14, 1:43:00 PM.

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