Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
What Is Carnitor?
Carnitor (levocarnitine) is a diet supplement used to prevent and treat low blood levels of carnitine. Low blood levels of carnitine may occur in people whose bodies cannot properly use carnitine from their diets, people on dialysis due to serious kidney disease, and people being treated with certain drugs (e.g., valproic acid, zidovudine). Carnitor is available in generic form.
What Are Side Effects of Carnitor?
Common side effects of Carnitor include:
- upset stomach,
- abdominal cramps,
- muscle pain/weakness,
- swelling of hands/lower legs/feet,
- tingling skin, or
- body odor ("fishy" smell).
Seek immediate medical attention if you have rare but very serious side effects of Carnitor including:
- seizures, or
- a serious allergic reaction (rash; itching/swelling, especially of the face/tongue/throat; severe dizziness; or trouble breathing).
Dosage for Carnitor
The recommended oral dosage of Carnitor for adults is 990 mg two or three times a day using the 330 mg tablets, depending on clinical response. Pediatric dose is determined by the child's weight.
What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Carnitor?
Carnitor may interact with other medications or supplements. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.
Carnitor During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
During pregnancy, Carnitor should be used only when prescribed. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Our Carnitor (levocarnitine) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
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.
If your doctor has prescribed this drug, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Seek immediate medical attention if this rare but very serious side effect occurs: seizure.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Carnitor (Levocarnitine Tablets, Oral Solution, Sugar-Free)
Various mild gastrointestinal complaints have been reported during the long-term administration of oral L-or D,L-carnitine; these include transient nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Mild myasthenia has been described only in uremic patients receiving D,L-carnitine. Gastrointestinal adverse reactions with CARNITOR® (levocarnitine) Oral Solution or CARNITOR® SF (levocarnitine) Sugar-Free Oral Solution dissolved in liquids might be avoided by a slow consumption of the solution or by a greater dilution. Decreasing the dosage often diminishes or eliminates drug-related patient body odor or gastrointestinal symptoms when present. Tolerance should be monitored very closely during the first week of administration, and after any dosage increases.
Seizures have been reported to occur in patients with or without pre-existing seizure activity receiving either oral or intravenous levocarnitine. In patients with pre-existing seizure activity, an increase in seizure frequency and/or severity has been reported.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Carnitor (Levocarnitine Tablets, Oral Solution, Sugar-Free)