Is Acetyl-L-Carnitine Safe?
You should make sure you are aware of acetyl-L-carnitine safety warnings and precautions before starting the supplement, especially if you have any existing medical conditions. Theoretically, this product may worsen hypothyroidism or increase your risk of seizures. You may also not be able to take acetyl-L-carnitine safely if you have certain allergies or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How Safe Is Acetyl-L-Carnitine?At this time, acetyl-L-carnitine is considered relatively safe, at least for most people and when used appropriately. However, some people may be more likely to experience problems with it. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this product if you have:
- An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Any chronic medical condition
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Acetyl-L-Carnitine Safety ConcernsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of acetyl-L-carnitine include the following:
- Theoretically, this product could worsen hypothyroidism. It has been reported that a similar product (L-carnitine) may decrease the activity of thyroid hormones in the body.
- Acetyl-L-carnitine could increase the risk of seizures in people with a history of the condition. L-carnitine (a similar product) has been reported to cause such problems.
- As a dietary supplement, acetyl-L-carnitine supplements are not as closely regulated as prescription or nonprescription drugs, and they can be marketed without any evidence that they are either safe or effective. Do not assume that just because a product is sold or advertised in the United States that it is safe or effective. Look for acetyl-L-carnitine products made by a reputable manufacturer (your pharmacist can help you with this).
- If you have a chronic or severe medical condition, it is always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including acetyl-L-carnitine.
- It is unknown if acetyl-L-carnitine is safe for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding (see Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Pregnancy and Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Breastfeeding).