Carnitine (L-Carnitine)
  Uses of this Supplement
Alzheimer's Disease
Anorexia Nervosa
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Congestive Heart Failure
Diabetes Mellitus
Myocardial Infarction
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  Drugs that Interact
Zidovudine-containing Medications
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Look Up > Supplements > Carnitine (L-Carnitine) > Interactions
Interactions with Carnitine (L-Carnitine)
Azidothymidine (AZT); Zidovudine

In an in vitro study with human muscle tissue, the addition of L-carnitine (5 mM) to muscle cultures pretreated with AZT (0.0027 to 135 mcg/mL) preserved the integrity and volume of mitochondria (Semino-Mora et al. 1994). Coadministration of L-carnitine to AIDS patients on AZT therapy may prevent the development of myotoxicity typically associated with this drug.


In one study, isolated cardiac myocytes and rat mitochondria perfused with doxorubicin (5 mM) treatment with L-carnitine reversed the cardiotoxic affects associated with the drug without affecting therapeutic effects (Sayed-Ahmed et al. 1999). In another study with mice, carnitine significantly decreased cardiac toxicity at both acute high and chronic intermittent low doses (Alberts et al. 1978). The cardiotoxic effects of doxorubicin were not observed in children treated with a combination of doxorubicin (30 to 60 mg/kg) and carnitine (1 to 2 g) (Chavez et al. 1997).


Alberts DS, Peng YM, Moon TE, Bressler R. Carnitine prevention of adriamycin toxicity in mice. Biomed. 1978;29(8):265-268.

Chavez GA, Hernandez IM, Ollarve CF, Natera YM. Myocardial protection by L-carnitine in children treated with adriamycin. Rev Lat Cardiol. 1997;18:208-214.

Sayed-Ahmed MM, Shaarawy S, Shouman SA, Osman AM. Reversal of doxorubicin-induced cardiac metabolic damage by L-carnitine. Pharmacol Res. 1999;39(4):289-295.

Semino-Mora MC, Leon-Monzon ME, Dalakas MC. Effect of L-carnitine on the zidovudine-induced destruction of human myotubes. Part I: L-carnitine prevents the myotoxicity of AZT in vitro. Lab Invest. 1994;71(1):102-112.

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