If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use carnitine without first talking to your health care provider.
AZT -- In a laboratory study, L-carnitine supplements protected muscle tissue against toxic side effects from AZT, a medication used to treat HIV and AIDS. Additional studies are needed to confirm whether L-carnitine would also have this effect in people.
Doxorubicin -- Treatment with L-carnitine may protect heart cells against the toxic side effects of doxorubicin, a chemotherapy medication used to treat cancer, without reducing the effectiveness of medication. Always talk to your oncologist before combining any complementary or alternative therapy with chemotherapy.
Isotretinoin -- Isotretinoin (Accutane), a strong medication used for severe acne, can cause abnormalities in liver function, measured by a blood test, as well as high cholesterol and muscle pain and weakness. These symptoms are similar to those seen with carnitine deficiency. Researchers in Greece showed that a large group of people who had side effects from isotretinoin got better when taking L-carnitine compared to those who took a placebo.
Valproic acid -- The anticonvulsant medication valproic acid may lower blood levels of carnitine and can cause carnitine deficiency. Taking L-carnitine supplements may prevent any deficiency and may also reduce the side effects of valproic acid.