Levocarnitine (Carnitor)

How does it work?

Carnitor tablets, chewable tablets, solution, paediatric solution and injection all contain the active ingredient L-carnitine.

L-carnitine is an amino acid derivative that is found naturally in the body. It is produced from amino acids in the liver and kidneys and is also obtained from meat and dairy products consumed in the diet. Carnitine plays a role in the complex pathways that are involved in the production of energy in the body. It enables cells in the body to efficiently breakdown fats to produce the energy needed for many essential biological processes.

Sometimes there may be a deficiency of carnitine in the body. The deficiency may be classified as primary or secondary. Primary carnitine deficiency is mainly due to genetic disorders of metabolism. Secondary carnitine deficiency is caused by other conditions, including other metabolic disorders, liver cirrhosis, or dialysis for kidney failure, which removes carnitine from the blood. It may also be caused by certain medicines, including valproate and zidovudine.

Carnitine deficiency causes many different problems, including heart failure, muscle weakness or muscle loss, anaemias and lack of energy. It can have a significant effect on quality of life.

L-carnitine is given to correct cartinine deficiency and thereby allow the body to utilise fats optimally for energy production.

What is it used for?

  • Treating carnitine deficiency.

Warning!

  • Your doctor will need to take regular blood and urine tests to check the amount of the carnitine in your body while you are taking this medicine.

Use with caution in

  • Diabetes.

Not to be used in

  • Allergy to any ingredient.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.

If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • This medicine is appropriate to use during pregnancy if the mother has a proven carnitine deficiency. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.
  • L-carnitine is a natural component of breast milk. However, supplementation in nursing mothers has not been studied. You should get advice from your pharmacist or doctor regarding its use during breastfeeding.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Body odour.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

This medicine is not known to affect other medicines. However, if you are already taking any other medicines, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, you should ask your pharmacist for advice before taking this one as well.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredient

There are currently no other medicines containing L-carnitine available in the UK.

However, there are many health supplements available that contain L-carnitine. These include Kudos L-carnitine capsules, Lamberts L-carnitine capsules and the Solgar L-carnitine range.