Although it is a natural compound, acetyl-L-carnitine may interact with at least one medication. Because it is similar to L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine may react negatively with warfarin, a "blood-thinning" medication. To avoid this acetyl-L-carnitine drug interaction, do not combine the supplement with warfarin without your healthcare provider's approval and supervision.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine Interactions: An Overview
Even though it is a natural product, acetyl-L-carnitine can theoretically interact with at least one prescription medication. L-carnitine (a similar product) has been reported to interact with an anticoagulant medication (which is not available in the United States) related to warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®). It is important to understand that this interaction is merely theoretical at this time.
However, if you take warfarin, do not take acetyl-L-carnitine without first checking with your healthcare provider. He or she will most likely want to monitor you more closely (using more frequent INR tests) and adjust your warfarin dosage if necessary. These precautions are recommended whenever you start or stop taking the supplement, or even when adjusting your acetyl-L-carnitine dosage.
It is possible that not all drug interactions with acetyl-L-carnitine were discussed in this article. Therefore, you should talk with your pharmacist or healthcare provider about any specific interaction that may apply to you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed April 27, 2009.
National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Carnitine (6/15/2006). NIH Web site. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/carnitine.asp. Accessed April 27, 2009.
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