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Drug Information

What is Acetyl L Carnitine used for?

Acetyl L Carnitine is used to treat the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • Memory loss due to age;
  • Depression caused in late life;
  • Thinking problems related to alcohol drinking;
  • Down syndrome (genetic disorder, which delays the developmental and intellectual process);
  • Lyme disease (arthritis caused by bacteria);
  • Poor circulation in the brain, cataracts; 
  • Nerve pain caused by diabetes;
  • Nerve pain which occurs due to drugs used in the treatment of AIDS;
  • Facial paralysis;
  • Peyronie’s disease (condition which causes pain and curvature during erection);
  • Low testosterone levels.

Acetyl-L-carnitine may also be prescribed for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

How does acetyl-L-Carnitine work?

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine is naturally produced amino acid (a building block for proteins) in the body. It helps the body produce energy. Acetyl L-Carnitine, known as alcar is an acetylated form of the dietary amino acid L-Carnitine.
  • It improves flow of blood and reduces inflammation.
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine has an acetyl group which enables it to cross the blood-brain barrier more easily and support cognitive thinking. Acetyl L-Carnitine also provide substrate (acetyl group) in the brain.

How to takeAcetyl L-Carnitine?

  • The dosage of oral tablets of Acetyl L-Carnitine depends on the age, weight and medical condition of an individual. Take Acetyl L-Carnitine as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine must be taken with water. Do not crush or break the tablet. Do not chew the tablet.
  • Please take the medicine in the right quantity and / or not for longer than recommended.
  • If you miss a dose of Acetyl L-Carnitine, please take it immediately once you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.

What should you do when you have taken an overdose of Acetyl L-Carnitine ?

If you have taken an overdose of Acetyl L-Carnitine, please contact your doctor immediately.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • Running nose
  • Skin rashes
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

What are the drugs that interact with Acetyl L-Carnitine ?

Drugs that interact with Acetyl L-Carnitine:

  • Acenocoumarol
  • Beta-blockers
  • Blood thinning drugs
  • Calcium-channel blockers
  • D-carnitine
  • Warfarin

This is not a comprehensive list of drug interactions. Consult your doctor to know more about other possible drug interactions.

What are the side effects of Acetyl L-Carnitine ?

Seek doctor’s advice before taking any other drug or herbal products while on Acetyl L- Carnitine.

Most common side effects of Acetyl L-Carnitine are:

  • Diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • ‘Fishy odour’ in urine, sweat and breath
  • Low blood sugar
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty to sleep
  • High blood pressure
  • High triglycerides (in people with diabetes)
  • Psychosis (in people with bipolar disorder)

Please contact your physician immediately if you have seizures.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.

What special precautions should be followed while takingAcetyl L-Carnitine?

You are advised not to take Acetyl L-Carnitine if

  • it has passed the expiry date of the medicine printed on the pack.
  • the foil or packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering or there is discolouration.

What should you tell your doctor before taking  Acetyl L-Carnitine ?

Tell your doctor if

  • you are allergic to Acetyl L-Carnitine or other medicine from the same class.
  • you are taking any other drugs, OTC medications, herbal products or nutritional supplements.
  • you have peripheral vascular disease,
  • you have high blood pressure.
  • you have liver disease.
  • you are alcoholic.
  • you have diabetes.
  • you have mental illness.
  • you have kidney failure.
  • you have respiratory diseases.
  • you have hepatitis C.
  • you can’t digest food.
  • you have sleeping disorders.
  • you are on blood thinning medicines.
  • you have hypothyroidism.

Frequently asked questions about Acetyl L-Carnitine

  • How should Acetylcysteine be stored?
    • Acetyl L-Carnitine must be stored in original package to protect from moisture.
    • Acetyl L-Carnitine must not be exposed to light and moisture as it becomes less active. Acetylcysteine must be kept out of children’s reach.
  • Should I follow any special dietary instructions while taking Acetyl L-Carnitine?

  • No, you can have your normal diet unless advised by your doctor.

  • What are the other formulations of Acetyl L-Carnitine available?
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine comes in oral tablets, capsule and injectable formulations.

  • Can I drive while taking Acetyl L-Carnitine?

  • Acetyl L-Carnitine does not affect the driving ability. However, if you are feeling dizzy, it is better to avoid driving.

  • Can I drink alcohol with Acetyl L-Carnitine?

  • No interference has been found with alcohol while taking Acetyl L-Carnitine. However, it is better to avoid alcohol while on Acetyl L- Carnitine.


    The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Please seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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