3-propanoyloxy-4-(trimethylazaniumyl) butanoate, 3-(1oxo-propoxy)-4-trimethyl ammonium chloride) Butanoic Acid, Glycine Propionyl-L-Carnitine, Glycine Propionyl-L-Carnitine HCl, Glycine Propionyl-L-Carnitine Hydrochloride, L-carnitine Propionyl, LPC, PLC, Propionil-L-Carnitina, Propionyl-L-Carnitine Hydrochloride, Propionylcarnitine.


Overview Information

Propionyl-L-carnitine is a chemical. It is made in the body. Propionyl-L-carnitine is related to two other compounds called L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine.

People use propionyl-L-carnitine for leg pain during exercise due to poor blood flow (intermittent claudication), congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain (angina), low levels of testosterone in older men, inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis), and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

How does it work?

Propionyl-L-carnitine helps the body produce energy. It is important for heart function, muscle movement, and many other body processes. It also seems to help increase circulation.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Low levels of testosterone in older men. Taking propionyl-L-carnitine by mouth in combination with acetyl-L-carnitine for six months seems to improve sexual performance, depression, and tiredness in older men. Taking this combination seems to work about as well as taking the chemical testosterone.
  • Chest pain (angina). Taking propionyl-L-carnitine by mouth seems to help people with angina walk farther. In some people, it might reduce how often they feel chest pain.
  • Heart disease. When given with a needle in the vein, propionyl-L-carnitine helps the heart pump better in people with ischemic heart disease.
  • Heart failure and fluid build up in the body (congestive heart failure or CHF). Taking propionyl-L-carnitine seems to improve how the heart works in people with mild or moderate CHF. It also seems to help people with this disease walk farther.
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED). Taking propionyl-L-carnitine along with sildenafil (Viagra) may work better than taking sildenafil alone in men with diabetes and ED. Also, taking a specific product that contains propionyl-L-carnitine and other ingredients seems to help with sexual performance in men with ED.
  • Leg pain during exercise due to poor blood flow (intermittent claudication). Propionyl-L-carnitine taken by mouth or given with a needle in the vein seems to help people with leg pain walk farther than they otherwise could. Propionyl-L-carnitine seems to work best for people with more severe disease.
  • A disease that causes curved, painful erections (Peyronie disease). The combination of propionyl-L-carnitine and injection of a medication called verapamil seems to improve sexual performance, slow down worsening of the disease, and possibly prevent surgery in people with Peyronie's disease.
  • A type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). Propionyl-L-carnitine might reduce symptoms in people with ulcerative colitis who are also using other medications. It might even help them go into remission, which means that the symptoms go away.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Athletic performance. Taking a specific ingredient called glycine propionyl-L-carnitine might increase cycling strength. But taking too much glycine propionyl-L-carnitine or taking it too often might make exercise harder.
  • A type of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn disease). Early research suggests that using propionyl-L-carnitine reduces symptoms in people with Crohn's disease.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Developing research suggests that propionyl-L-carnitine might improve general tiredness in patients with CFS. Interestingly, the combination of propionyl-L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine appears to be less effective than either supplement alone.
  • Male-pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia).
  • Circulatory problems caused by diabetes.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of propionyl-L-carnitine for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Propionyl-L-carnitine is LIKELY SAFE for most people. It can cause stomach upset, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, weakness, back pain, chest infections, and chest pain (angina). It can also cause a "fishy" smell of the urine, breath, and sweat.

When given by IV: Propionyl-L-carnitine is LIKELY SAFE for most people when given intravenously (by IV) by a healthcare professional.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if propionyl-L-carnitine is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism): There is a concern that propionyl-L-carnitine might make hypothyroidism worse or thyroid hormone treatment less effective. This is because a related chemical, L-carnitine, seems to interfere with thyroid hormone. If you have hypothyroidism, don't take propionyl-L-carnitine.

Seizures: Some people who have a history of seizures have reported an increase in the number and severity of seizures after taking L-carnitine by mouth or when given with a needle in the vein (by IV). There is a concern that this might also occur with propionyl-L-carnitine, because it is a similar chemical.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Acenocoumarol (Sintrom) interacts with PROPIONYL-L-CARNITINE

    Acenocoumarol (Sintrom) is used to slow blood clotting. Propionyl-L-carnitine might increase the effects of acenocoumarol (Sintrom). Increasing the effects of acenocoumarol (Sintrom) might slow blood clotting too much and cause bruising and bleeding. The dose of your acenocoumarol (Sintrom) might need to be changed.

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with PROPIONYL-L-CARNITINE

    Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Propionyl-L-carnitine might increase the effects of warfarin (Coumadin) and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.



The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For heart disease: 500-2000 mg propionyl-L-carnitine twice daily.
  • For chest pain (angina): 500 mg propionyl-L-carnitine three times daily.
  • For low levels of testosterone in older men: 2 grams of propionyl-L-carnitine and 2 grams of acetyl-L-carnitine daily.
  • For erectile dysfunction (ED): 2 grams of propionyl-L-carnitine daily along with 50 mg of sildenafil (Viagra) given twice weekly. A specific combination of propionyl-L-carnitine 250 mg, niacin 20 mg, and arginine 2500 mg daily.
  • For a disease that causes curved, painful erections (Peyronie disease): 2 grams of propionyl-L-carnitine daily in combination with injections of a medication called verapamil.
  • For a type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis): 0.5-1 gram of propionyl-L-carnitine twice daily.
  • For leg pain during exercise due to poor blood flow (intermittent claudication): Healthcare providers give propionyl-L-carnitine with a needle in the vein (by IV).

View References


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