About your treatment
Your doctor has ordered levocarnitine, an amino acid derivative. The drug will be added to an intravenous fluid that will drip through a needle or catheter placed in your vein for 2 to 3 minutes or added to a total parenteral nutrition solution once daily.
Levocarnitine is used to treat l-carnitine deficiency when dietary intake is inadequate. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Your health care provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) may measure the effectiveness and side effects of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. The length of treatment depends on how your symptoms respond to the medication.
Before administering levocarnitine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease or diabetes.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking levocarnitine, call your doctor.
Administering your medication
Before you administer levocarnitine, look at the solution closely. It should be clear and free of floating material. Gently squeeze the bag or observe the solution container to make sure there are no leaks. Do not use the solution if it is discolored, if it contains particles, or if the bag or container leaks. Use a new solution, but show the damaged one to your health care provider.
It is important that you use your medication exactly as directed. Do not stop your therapy on your own for any reason. Do not change your dosing schedule without talking to your health care provider. Your health care provider may tell you to stop your infusion if you have a mechanical problem (such as a blockage in the tubing, needle, or catheter); if you have to stop an infusion, call your health care provider immediately so your therapy can continue.
Levocarnitine may cause side effects. Tell your health care provider if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- stomach cramps
- drug-related body odor
Storing your medication
- Your health care provider will probably give you a several-day supply of levocarnitine at a time. You will be told to store it in the refrigerator.
- Take your next dose from the refrigerator 1 hour before using it; place it in a clean, dry area to allow it to warm to room temperature.
Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand what you need to store your medication properly.
Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place when you are not using them, and keep all medications and supplies out of reach of children. Your health care provider will tell you how to throw away used needles, syringes, tubing, and containers to avoid accidental injury.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Signs of infection
If you are receiving levocarnitine in your vein or under your skin, you need to know the symptoms of a catheter-related infection (an infection where the needle enters your vein or skin). If you experience any of these effects near your intravenous catheter, tell your health care provider as soon as possible:
Last Reviewed - 09/01/2010