Medically reviewed on October 9, 2017
What is glutamine?
Glutamine is an amino acid that affects the processes of growth and function of cells in the stomach and intestines.
Glutamine is a medical food product that is used to supplement dietary sources of glutamine. glutamine is used to treat a glutamine deficiency, or a loss of glutamine caused by injury or illness.
Glutamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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.
Before taking this medicine
To make sure glutamine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
liver disease; or
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether glutamine will harm an unborn baby. Do not use glutamine without a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether glutamine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take glutamine?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
When treating short bowel syndrome, you may need to take glutamine 6 times per day for up to 16 weeks.
The number of times per day you take glutamine depends on the reason you are using it. Always follow your doctor's instructions.
Take glutamine oral powder with a meal or snack unless directed otherwise.
Take glutamine tablets on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Dissolve your dose of glutamine oral powder in at least 8 ounces of hot or cold liquid. You may also mix the powder with a soft food such as pudding, applesauce, or yogurt. Stir the mixture and eat or drink all of it right away.
Do not pour dry glutamine powder directly into a tube feeding formula. Always mix the powder with water and infuse it directly into the feeding tube using a syringe.
While using glutamine, you may need frequent blood or urine tests.
Glutamine may be only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include a special diet, tube feedings, and IV fluids. It is very important to follow the diet and medication plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep each dose of the oral powder in its packet until you are ready to use the medicine.
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?
An overdose of glutamine is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.
What should I avoid while taking glutamine?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Glutamine 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:
hearing problems; or
signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, mouth sores, unusual weakness.
Common side effects may include:
swelling in your hands or feet;
muscle or joint pain, back pain;
mild skin rash or itching; or
dry mouth, runny nose, increased sweating.
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)
Glutamine dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Dietary Supplement:
Average Dose: 10 g orally 3 times per day
Dosing range: 5 g to 30 g orally per day
Usual Adult Dose for Short Bowel Syndrome:
Oral: 5 g orally 6 times per day at 2 to 3 hour intervals, with meals or snacks, while awake, for up to 16 weeks; to be used in combination with growth hormone and nutritional support.
Usual Adult Dose for Sickle Cell Anemia:
In a clinical study of 7 patients after 4 weeks of therapy with glutamine at 30 g orally per day, there was clinical benefit in reducing the oxidative susceptibility of sickle red blood cells.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Sickle Cell Anemia:
In a clinical study of 27 children (5.2 to 17.9 years old) after 24 weeks of therapy with glutamine at 600 mg/kg/day orally there was clinical benefit seen in resting energy expenditure and improvement in nutritional parameters.
What other drugs will affect glutamine?
Other drugs may interact with glutamine, 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.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01.
More about glutamine
- Glutamine Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Support Group
- 4 Reviews
- Drug class: nutraceutical products
- Glutamine Capsules and Tablets
- Glutamine Powder (For Sickle Cell Disease)
- Glutamine Powder (For Stomach or Bowel Problems)
- Glutamine (Advanced Reading)