Health Guide


What is it?

Acetyl-L-carnitine is a dietary supplement used to improve memory, such as in Alzheimer's disease. Acetyl-L-carnitine may improve depression. Other uses for acetyl-L-carnitine include the treatment of Parkinson's disease, stroke, and Peyronie's disease.

Other names for acetyl-L-carnitine include: acetyl-levocarnitine, acetylcarnitine, l-acetylcarnitine, levacecarnine, and ST-200.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse about how much acetyl-L-carnitine you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking acetyl-L-carnitine. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more acetyl-L-carnitine or take it more often than what is written on the directions.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take acetyl-L-carnitine without talking to your doctor first.


  • Before taking acetyl-L-carnitine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects.

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Aggressive
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Mania (acting overly excited and active)
  • Nausea (upset stomach), vomiting (throwing up)


1. Arrigo A, Casale R, Buonocore M et al: Effects of acetyl-L-carnitine on reaction times in patients with cerebrovascular insufficiency. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 1990; 10(1-2):133-137.

2. Arrigo A, Clano E, Casale R et al: The effects of L-acetylcarnitine on reaction times in patients with cerebrovascular insufficiency: a double-blind cross-over study. Clin Trials J 1988; 25(suppl 1):47-56.

3. Bagiotti G & Cavallini G: Acetyl-L-carnitine vs tamoxifen in the oral therapy of Peyronie's disease: a preliminary report. BJU Internat 2001; 88(1):63-67.

4. Bonavita E, Bertuzzi D, Bonavita J et al: L-Acetylcarnitine (L-Ac) (Branigen) in the long-term symptomatic treatment of senile dementia. Clin Trials J 1988; 25(4):227-237.

5. De Grandis D: Tolerability and efficacy of L-Acetylcarnitine in patients with peripheral neuropathies. A short-term-open multicentre study. Clin Drug Invest 1998; 15(2):73-79.

6. Marzo A, Arrigoni Martelli E, Urso R et al: Metabolism and disposition of intravenously administered acetyl-L-carnitine in healthy volunteers. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1989; 37(1):59-63.

7. Montgomery SA, Thal LJ, & Amrein R: Meta-analysis of double blind randomized controlled clinical trials of acteyl-L-carnitine versus placebo in the treatment of mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease. Int Clin Psychopharmacol 2003; 18:61-71.

8. Puca FM, Genco S, Specchio LM et al: Clinical pharmacodynamics of acetyl-L-carnitine in patients with Parkinson's disease. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 1990; 10(1-2):139-143.

9. Salvioli G & Neri M: L-acetylcarnitine treatment of mental decline in the elderly. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1994; 4:169-174.

10. Sinforiani E, Iannuccelli M, Mauri M et al: Neuropsychological changes in demented patients treated with acetyl-L-carnitine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 1990; 10(1-2):69-74.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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