What is levocarnitine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Levocarnitine (Carnitor) is a naturally occurring
substance that the cells of mammals need to produce energy. It is used to treat
carnitine deficiency. 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
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).
Levocarnitine corrects low carnitine levels and reverses symptoms of carnitine
deficiency. The FDA approved levocarnitine in December 1985.
What brand names are available for levocarnitine?
Carnitor, Carnitor Sugar-Free
Is levocarnitine available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for levocarnitine?
What are the side effects of levocarnitine?
Common side effects include:
Other reported side effects include:
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Increased risk of bleeding
- Rhabdomyolysis (break down of muscle tissue)
The only purpose of the kidneys is to filter blood.
What is the dosage for levocarnitine?
Which drugs or supplements interact with levocarnitine?
Combining levocarnitine and warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) 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
Is levocarnitine safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about levocarnitine?
What preparations of levocarnitine are available?
- Oral tablets: 330 mg
- Oral solution: 1 g/10 ml
How should I keep levocarnitine stored?
Levocarnitine should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C and
30 C (59 F and 86 F).