L-Carnitine Injection

Uses of L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is a drug prescribed to patients suffering from Carnitine deficiency. Its dosage is available in injection solutions, oral solutions and in tablet form. All the Absolute Pharmacy drugs are created following all the USP797 guide for sterility, potency, endotoxin and pH testing is done on each package.

Levocarnitine has a long history of use in the treatment of both primary and secondary Carnitine deficiency both in children and adults. It is also used in the treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy in kids and adults, hyperlipoproteinemia, Alzheimer among others. Its application in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome, down syndrome, and alcohol-induced fatty liver has shown distinct results. There are sportsmen who use it to boost their workout performance, although the drug does not offer the best results in this case.

How it works

L-Carnitine helps in enhancing transportation of long chain fatty acids from cytosol up to the mitochondria. It provides substrates needed for oxidation and production of energy in the cells. It also helps in the production of extra fatty or organic acids in patients with problems in the metabolism of fatty acids. The drug also helps in clearing the acyl CoA esters through the formation of acylcarnitine that is excreted rapidly.

Carnitine acetyltransferases helps in catalyzing the interconversion of the fatty acids esters of coenzyme A and Carnitine that are situated in the mitochondrial and cytosol membranes. In the mitochondrial membranes, there are translocases that help in the transportation of free Carnitine and all its esters inside and outside of the cells.

The drug can be taken intravenously or orally and it usually not bound to plasma proteins such as albumin. L-Carnitine is metabolized hepatically, with the primary metabolite known as trimethylamine N-oxide excreted in the urine.

Dosage

The intravenous dosage for children, adults and adolescents is 50 mg/kg IV. The dose is given as a slow two to three minute bolus injection or through infusion. A loading dosage is usually administered to patients suffering from high level metabolic crisis. It is then followed by the same dose over the following twenty four hours. Monitoring include plasma Carnitine concentration, overall clinical condition and blood chemistries.

Contraindication

L-Carnitine can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms. This is why patients suffering from diarrhea should use it conservatively.

Precautions

This drug is categorized as pregnancy category B. There has been no proof that it can affect fertility or cause any problem to the fetus. However, it should only be used if it is extremely needed during pregnancy. Levocarnitine therapy is known to increase seizure activity meaning that it should be administered with great care to patients who are known to suffer from seizure disorder.

L-Carnitine is also applied in the treatment of some forms of cardiomyopathy. In this case, it should be administered with a lot of precautions to patients who suffer or have in the past suffered from cardiac dysfunction or disease. The drug should also be used with extra caution for patients with hepatic disease because there is no information that is available on the effects that might occur. Breastfeeding mothers should seek advice from doctor before they can start taking this drug. The other rule that also applies to all other drugs is that you should never share it with anybody else.

Side effects

Just like most other drugs, there are also side effects that are associated with L-Carnitine. There are cardiovascular effects that result from administration of this drug in dialysis patients. Some of these side effects include peripheral edema, high blood pressure and ventricular arrhythmias. Peripheral neuropathy can also result from administration of this drug.

There is also production of fishy body odor when oral formulation of this drug is used in the treatment of patients suffering from renal failure or impairment. To avoid this problem, intravenous form is recommended.

Intravenous and oral L-Carnitine therapy can lead to gastrointestinal effects such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, gastritis and dyspepsia. These side effects can be minimized by reducing the consumption rate or dividing the dosage throughout the day. Other side effects associated with administration of oral and intravenous dosage of the drug include general body weakness, paresthesias, headache, anxiety, dizziness and insomnia. Other effects include vertigo, paresthesias, depression, drug dependence, asthenia and others. The drug has also been known to cause seizure among patients with the history of the seizures.

There are other side effects including sinusitis, coughing, fever, bronchitis, vascular disorder, chest pain, bleeding, back pain, eye disorder, and rash.

How to store it

L-Carnitine should be stored away from light, moisture, heat and at a room temperature of 15C to 30C. In addition, make sure that it is out of reach of children.

 

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