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Levocarnitine - Indications, Dosage, Side Effects and Precautions

Last Updated on Sep 26, 2017
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General Information on Levocarnitine

Generic Name : Levocarnitine
Pronunciation : lee-voh-KAR-ni-teen
Latest prescription information about Levocarnitine. Learn how to pronounce the drug's name, its indications, dosage, how to take, when to take, when not to take, side effects, special precautions, warnings and its storage instructions . Also listed are the Indian trade name(s) of the drug and its price list.
ICD Code : Y51.1 | Therapeutic Classification : Amino Acid Supplements
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Trade Names/Brand Names of Levocarnitine

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Overview of Levocarnitine

Levocarnitine is a substance that occurs naturally in the body. It helps the body to use long chain fatty acids as a source of energy.

Why is Levocarnitine Prescribed? (Indications)

Levocarnitine is prescribed for the prevention and treatment of carnitine deficiency in:
• Primary carnitine deficiency, where the cause of the deficiency is not known
• Secondary carnitine deficiency, due to inborn errors of metabolism like medium chain fatty acylCoA dehydrogenase deficiency.

Other patients who may also suffer from carnitine deficiency and may benefit from levocarnitine treatment include:
• Patients on dialysis with kidney disease. The oral form should not be used in these patients.
• Individuals who take certain medicines such as zidovudine and valproic acid.

Levocarnitine is a naturally occurring substance that plays a role in the breakdown of long-chain fatty acids. This process provides energy to the body and also helps to get rid of the excess fats which could be harmful. 

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When should Levocarnitine not be taken? (Contraindications)

Levocarnitine should not be taken by patients who develop a severe allergy to the drug.

What is the dosage of Levocarnitine?

Oral dosage:
Adults: The maximum oral dose is 990 mg administered in two or three divided doses.
Infants and children: The oral dosage to be started with 50mg/kg/day. The recommended dose is between 50 and 100mg/kg/day in divided doses. The dose should not exceed 3g/day.

Injections dosage for adults and children:
• Carnitine deficiency: The normal dose is 50mg/kg bodyweight injected into the vein.
• Patients with kidney failure undergoing hemodialysis: The usual dose is 10 to 20 mg/kg bodyweight daily after dialysis.

How should Levocarnitine be taken?

• Levocarnitine is available in the form of tablet, powder and injection. The oral solutions or tablets should be taken with food to avoid a stomach upset.
• If more than one dose is needed in a day, an adequate time interval should be maintained between the doses.

What are the warnings and precautions for Levocarnitine?

• In severe kidney disease, accumulation of the drug could occur in patients who consume it for long periods.
• An increase in the frequency of seizures and worsening of existing seizure disorder may occur.

What are the side effects of Levocarnitine?

•  GI Tract - Diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, constipation
•  Central nervous system - Headache, dizziness, paresthesia (tingling or pricking sensation), taste perversion, seizures
•  Cardio vascular system - Fluctuations in blood pressure, palpitations, atrial fibrillation and abnormal ECG
•  Musculoskeletal - Rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle)
•  Metabolic - Hypertriglyceridemia associated with high doses in dialysis patients, hypercalcemia (high blood calcium levels), hypervolemia
•  Respiratory - Increase in cough frequency, pharyngitis and breathlessness
•  Allergic reaction: Rashes, itching. A serious allergic reaction may rarely occur
•  Others - Depression, fishy body odor, fever

What are the other precautions for Levocarnitine?

• Avoid excess dose.

What are the Drug Interactions of Levocarnitine?

• Levocarnitine could increase the risk of bleeding in patients taking warfarin. Therefore, the patients should be monitored through a regular blood test that measures the warfarin activity (INR or International Normalized Ration).
• Herbal supplements such as ginkgo biloba should be avoided as the combination could increase the risk of seizures.

What are the storage conditions for Levocarnitine?

• Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not freeze.
• Keep out of reach of children.

Last Updated : 9/25/2017



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