Propionyl-L-carnitine helps the body produce energy. It’s important for heart function, muscle movement, and many other body processes. It also seems to help increase circulation.
People use propionyl-L-carnitine for chest pain, heart disease, heart failure, athletic performance, chronic fatigue, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses.
Don't confuse propionyl-L-carnitine with acetyl-L-carnitine or L-carnitine. These are not the same.
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
- Chest pain (angina). Taking propionyl-L-carnitine by mouth seems to help people with chest pain walk farther. It might also reduce how often some people feel chest pain.
- Heart disease. Taking propionyl-L-carnitine by IV helps the heart to pump better in people with heart disease. IV products can only be given by a healthcare provider.
- Heart failure and fluid build up in the body (congestive heart failure or CHF). Taking propionyl-L-carnitine by mouth seems to improve how the heart works in people with mild or moderate CHF. It also seems to help people with CHF walk farther.
- Leg pain during exercise due to poor blood flow (intermittent claudication). Taking propionyl-L-carnitine by mouth or by IV seems to help people with leg pain walk farther and also improve quality of life. IV products can only be given by a healthcare provider.
- A type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). Taking propionyl-L-carnitine with other medications by mouth might help to reduce symptoms in people with ulcerative colitis.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism): Propionyl-L-carnitine might make hypothyroidism worse or thyroid hormone treatment less effective. If you have hypothyroidism, don't take propionyl-L-carnitine.
Seizures: Some people who have a history of seizures have reported an increase in seizures after taking L-carnitine. Propionyl-L-carnitine is similar to L-carnitine and might have some of the same effects. Don’t take it if you have seizures.
Acenocoumarol (Sintrom) interacts with PROPIONYL-L-CARNITINE
Acenocoumarol is used to slow blood clotting. Propionyl-L-carnitine might increase the effects of acenocoumarol, which might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. The dose of your acenocoumarol might need to be changed.
Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with PROPIONYL-L-CARNITINE
Warfarin is used to slow blood clotting. Propionyl-L-carnitine might increase the effects of warfarin and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin might need to be changed.
Be cautious with this combination
Caponnetto S, Canale C, Masperone MA, et al. Efficacy of L-propionylcarnitine treatment in patients with left ventricular dysfunction. Eur Heart J 1994;15:1267-73. View abstract.
Caruso A, Cutuli VM, De Bernardis E, et al. Protective effect of propionyl-L-carnitine against PAF-induced rat paw oedema. Pharmacol Res 1995;31:67-72. View abstract.
Castro-Gago M, Eiris-Punal J, Novo-Rodriguez MI, et al. Serum carnitine levels in epileptic children before and during treatment with valproic acid, carbamazepine, and phenobarbital. J Child Neurol 1998;13:546-9. View abstract.
Cavallini G, Biagiotti G, Koverech A, Vitali G. Oral propionyl-l-carnitine and intraplaque verapamil in the therapy of advanced and resistant Peyronie's disease. BJU Int 2002;89:895-900. View abstract.
Cavallini G, Caracciolo S, Vitali G, et al. Carnitine versus androgen administration in the treatment of sexual dysfunction, depressed mood, and fatigue associated with male aging. Urology 2004;63:641-6. View abstract.
Cherchi A, Lai C, Onnis E, et al. Propionyl carnitine in stable effort angina. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 1990;4:481-6. View abstract.
Chiddo A, Gaglione A, Musci S, et al. Hemodynamic study of intravenous propionyl-L-carnitine in patients with ischemic heart disease and normal left ventricular function. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 1991;5 Suppl 1:107-11. View abstract.
Coulter DL. Carnitine, valproate, and toxicity. J Child Neurol 1991;6:7-14. View abstract.
Coulter DL. Prevention of hepatotoxicity recurrence with valproate monotherapy and carnitine. Ann Neurol 1988;24:301.
Dal Lago A, De Martini D, Flore R, et al. Effects of propionyl-L-carnitine on peripheral arterial obliterative disease of the lower limbs: a double-blind clinical trial. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1999;25:29-36. View abstract.
Dalakas MC, Leon-Monzon ME, Bernardini I, et al. Zidovudine-induced mitochondrial myopathy is associated with muscle carnitine deficiency and lipid storage. Ann Neurol 1994;35:482-7. View abstract.
De Vivo DC, Bohan TP, Coulter DL, et al. L-carnitine supplementation in childhood epilepsy: Current perspectives. Epilepsia 1998;39:1216-25. View abstract.
Deeks SG, Collier A, Lalezari J, et al. The safety and efficacy of adefovir dipivoxil, a novel anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) therapy, in HIV-infected adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Infect Dis 1997;176:1517-23. View abstract.
Evans AM, Fornasini G. Pharmacokinetics of L-carnitine. Clin Pharmacokinet 2003;42:941-67. View abstract.
Ferrari R, De Giuli F. The propionyl-L-carnitine hypothesis: an alternative approach to treating heart failure. J Card Fail 1997;3:217-24. View abstract.
Freeman JM, Vining EPG, Cost S, Singhi P. Does carnitine administration improve the symptoms attributed to anticonvulsant medications? A double-blinded, crossover study. Pediatrics 1994;93:893-5. View abstract.
Gentile V, Vicini P, Prigiotti G, et al. Preliminary observations on the use of propionyl-L-carnitine in combination with sildenafil in patients with erectile dysfunction and diabetes. Curr Med Res Opin 2004;20:1377-84. View abstract.
Georgala S, Schulpis KH, Georgala C, Michas T. L-carnitine supplementation in patients with cystic acne on isotretinoin therapy. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 1999;13:205-9. View abstract.
Georges B, Galland S, Rigault C, et al. Beneficial effects of L-carnitine in myoblastic C2C12 cells. Interaction with zidovudine. Biochem Pharmacol 2003;65:1483-8.. View abstract.
Gianfrilli D, Lauretta R, Di Dato C, et al. Propionyl-L-carnitine, L-arginine and niacin in sexual medicine: a nutraceutical approach to erectile dysfunction. Andrologia 2012;44 Suppl 1:600-4. View abstract.
Heuberger W, Berardi S, Jacky E, et al. Increased urinary excretion of carnitine in patients treated with cisplatin. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1998;54:503-8. View abstract.
Hiatt WR, Creager MA, Amato A, Brass EP. Effect of propionyl-L-carnitine on a background of monitored exercise in patients with claudication secondary to peripheral artery disease. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev 2011;31:125-32. View abstract.
Hiatt WR, Regensteiner JG, Creager MA, et al. Propionyl-L-carnitine improves exercise performance and functional status in patients with claudication. Am J Med 2001;110:616-22.. View abstract.
Hirose S, Mitsudome A, Yasumoto S, et al. Valproate therapy does not deplete carnitine levels in otherwise healthy children. Pediatrics 1998;101:E9 (abstract). View abstract.
Holme E, Greter J, Jacobson CE, et al. Carnitine deficiency induced by pivampicillin and pivmecillinam therapy. Lancet 1989;2:469-73. View abstract.
Hug G, McGraw CA, Bates SR, et al. Reduction of serum carnitine concentrations during anticonvulsant therapy with phenobarbital, valproic acid, phenytoin, and carbamazepine in children. J Pediatr 1991;119:799-802. View abstract.
Jacobs PL, Goldstein ER, Blackburn W, et al. Glycine propionyl-L-carnitine produces enhanced anaerobic work capacity with reduced lactate accumulation in resistance trained males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2009;6:9. View abstract.
Jacobs PL, Goldstein ER. Long-term glycine propionyl-l-carnitine supplementation and paradoxical effects on repeated anaerobic sprint performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2010;7:35. View abstract.
Kahn J, Lagakos S, Wulfsohn M, et al. Efficacy and safety of adefovir dipivoxil with antiretroviral therapy. J Am Med Assoc 1999;282:2305-12. View abstract.
Krahenbuhl S, Reichen J. Carnitine metabolism in patients with chronic liver disease. Hepatology 1997;25:148-53. View abstract.
Krahenbuhl S. Carnitine metabolism in chronic liver disease. Life Sci 1996;59:1579-99. View abstract.
Kurul S, Dirik E, Iscan A. Serum carnitine levels during oxcarbazepine and carbamazepine monotherapies in children with epilepsy. J Child Neurol 2003;18:552-4. View abstract.
Lai CL, Ahn SH, Lee KS, Um SH, Cho M, Yoon SK, Lee JW, Park NH, Kweon YO, Sohn JH, Lee J, Kim JA, Han KH, Yuen MF. Phase IIb multicentred randomised trial of besifovir (LB80380) versus entecavir in Asian patients with chronic hepatitis B. Gut. 2014 Jun;63(6):996-1004. View abstract.
Laker MF, Green C, Bhuiyan AK, Shuster S. Isotretinoin and serum lipids: studies on fatty acid, apolipoprotein and intermediary metabolism. Br J Dermatol 1987;117:203-6. View abstract.
Luo T, Li J, Li L, et al. A study on the efficacy and safety assessment of propionyl-L-carnitine tablets in treatment of intermittent claudication. Thromb Res 2013;132:427-32. View abstract.
Mancini M, Rengo F, Lingetti M, et al. Controlled study on the therapeutic efficacy of propionyl-L-carnitine in patients with congestive heart failure. Arzneimittelforschung 1992;42:1101-4. View abstract.
Marthaler NP, Visarius T, Kupfer A, Lauterburg BH. Increased urinary losses of carnitine during ifosfamide chemotherapy. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 1999;44:170-2. View abstract.
Martinez E, Domingo P, Roca-Cusachs A. Potentiation of acenocoumarol action by L-carnitine. J Intern Med 1993;233:94.
Merra G, Gasbarrini G, Laterza L, et al. Propionyl-L-carnitine hydrochloride for treatment of mild to moderate colonic inflammatory bowel diseases. World J Gastroenterol 2012;18:5065-71. View abstract.
Mikhailova TL, Sishkova E, Poniewierka E, et al. Randomised clinical trial: the efficacy and safety of propionyl-L-carnitine therapy in patients with ulcerative colitis receiving stable oral treatment. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2011;34:1088-97. View abstract.
Mintz M. Carnitine in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection/acquired immune deficiency syndrome. J Child Neurol 1995;10:S40-4. View abstract.
Noble S, Goa KL. Adefovir dipivoxil. Drugs 1999;58:479-87. View abstract.
Opala G, Winter S, Vance C, et al. The effect of valproic acid on plasma carnitine levels. Am J Dis Child 1991;145:999-1001. View abstract.
Persico G, Amato B, Aprea G, et al. The early effects of intravenous L-propionyl carnitine on ulcerative trophic lesions of the lower limbs in arteriopathic patients: a controlled randomized study. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1995;21:187-98. View abstract.
Raskind JY, El-Chaar GM. The role of carnitine supplementation during valproic acid therapy. Ann Pharmacother 2000;34:630-8. View abstract.
Rebouche CJ. Kinetics, pharmacokinetics, and regulation of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine metabolism. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2004;1033:30-41. View abstract.
Riva R, Albani F, Gobbi G, et al. Carnitine disposition before and during valproate therapy in patients with epilepsy. Epilepsia 1993;34:184-7. View abstract.
Schlenzig JS, Charpentier C, Rabier D, et al. L-carnitine: a way to decrease cellular toxicity of ifosfamide? Eur J Pediatr 1995;154:686-7. View abstract.
Scioli MG, Lo Giudice P, Bielli A, et al. Propionyl-l-carnitine enhances wound healing and counteracts microvascular endothelial cell dysfunction. PLoS One. 2015;10:e0140697. View abstract.
Scioli MG, Stasi MA, Passeri D, et al. Propionyl-l-carnitine is efficacious in ulcerative colitis through its action on the immune function and microvasculature. Clin Transl Gastroenterol 2014;5:e55. View abstract.
Sekas G, Paul HS. Hyperammonemia and carnitine deficiency in a patient receiving sulfadiazine and pyrimethamine. Am J Med 1993;95:112-3. View abstract.
Shapira Y, Gutman A. Muscle carnitine deficiency in patients using valproic acid. J Pediatrics 1991;118:646-9. View abstract.
Siliprandi N, Di Lisa F, Menabo R. Propionyl-L-carnitine: biochemical significance and possible role in cardiac metabolism. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 1991;5 Suppl 1:11-5. View abstract.
Stanley CA. Carnitine deficiency disorders in children. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2004;1033:42-51. View abstract.
Thom H, Carter PE, Cole GF, et al. Ammonia and carnitine concentrations in children treated with sodium valproate compared with other anticonvulsant drugs. Dev Med Child Neurol 1991;33:795-802. View abstract.
Tsoko M, Beauseigneur F, Gresti J, et al. Enhancement of activities relative to fatty acid oxidation in the liver of rats depleted of L-carnitine by D-carnitine and a gamma- butyrobetaine hydroxylase inhibitor. Biochem Pharmacol 1995;49:1403-10. View abstract.
Van Wouwe JP. Carnitine deficiency during valproic acid treatment. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1995;65:211-4. View abstract.
Vance CK, Vance H, Winter SC, et al. Control of valproate-induced hepatotoxicity with carnitine. Ann Neurol 1989;26:456.
Vermeulen RC, Scholte HR. Exploratory open label, randomized study of acetyl- and propionylcarnitine in chronic fatigue syndrome. Psychosom Med 2004;66:276-82. View abstract.
Wang DD, Wang TY, Yang Y, He SM, Wang YM. The Effects of L-Carnitine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, and Propionyl-L-Carnitine on Body Mass in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients. Front Nutr 2021;8:748075. View abstract.
Winter SC, Szabo-Aczel S, Curry CJR, et al. Plasma carnitine deficiency: Clinical observations in 51 pediatric patients. Am J Dis Child 1987;141:660-5. View abstract.
Wiseman LR, Brogden RN. Propionyl-L-carnitine. Drugs Aging 1998;12:243-8; discussion 249-50. View abstract.
Wu X, Huang W, Prasad PD, et al. Functional characteristics and tissue distribution pattern of organic cation transporter 2 (OCTN2), an organic cation/carnitine transporter. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1999;290:1482-92. View abstract.
Zelnik N, Fridkis I, Gruener N. Reduced carnitine and antiepileptic drugs: cause relationship or co-existence? Acta Paediatr 1995;84:93-5. View abstract.
12761 Benvenga S, Amato A, Calvani M, Trimarchi F. Effects of carnitine on thyroid hormone action. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2004;1033:158-67. View abstract.
Amico-Roxas M, Caruso A, Cutuli VM, et al. Inhibitory effects of propionyl-L-carnitine on plasma extravasation induced by irritants in rodents. Drugs Exp Clin Res 1993;19:213-7. View abstract.
Anand I, Chandrashekhan Y, De Giuli F, et al. Acute and chronic effects of propionyl-L-carnitine on the hemodynamics, exercise capacity, and hormones in patients with congestive heart failure. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 1998;12:291-9. View abstract.
Anon. Carnitor (levocarnitine) package insert. Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals Inc, Gaithersburg, MD. December 1999.
Bachmann HU, Hoffmann A. Interaction of food supplement L-carnitine with oral anticoagulant acenocoumarol. Swiss Med Wkly 2004;134:385.
Barditch-Crovo P, Toole J, Hendrix CW, et al. Anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activitiy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of adefovir dipivoxyl (9-[2-(bis-pivaloyloxymethyl)-phosphonylmethoxyethyl]adenine) in HIV-infected patients. J Infect Dis 1997;176:406-13. View abstract.
Bartels GL, Remme WJ, den Hartog FR, et al. Additional anti-ischemic effects of long-term L-propionylcarnitine in anginal patients treated with conventional antianginal therapy. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 1995;9:749-53. View abstract.
Bartels GL, Remme WJ, Holwerda KJ, Kruijssen DA. Anti-ischaemic efficacy of L-propionylcarnitine - a promising novel metabolic approach to ischaemia? Eur Heart J 1996;17:414-20. View abstract.
Bartels GL, Remme WJ, Pillay M, et al. Acute improvement of cardiac function with intravenous L-propionylcarnitine in humans. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 1992;20:157-64. View abstract.
Bartels GL, Remme WJ, Pillay M, et al. Effects of L-propionylcarnitine on ischemia-induced myocardial dysfunction in men with angina pectoris. Am J Cardiol 1994;74:125-30. View abstract.
Benvenga S, Ruggeri RM, Russo A, et al. Usefulness of L-carnitine, a naturally occurring peripheral antagonist of thyroid hormone action, in iatrogenic hyperthyroidism: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2001;86:3579-94. View abstract.
Brass EP, Koster D, Hiatt WR, Amato A. A systematic review and meta-analysis of propionyl-L-carnitine effects on exercise performance in patients with claudication. Vasc Med 2013;18:3-12. View abstract.
Brass EP. Pivalate-generating prodrugs and carnitine homeostasis in man. Pharmacol Rev 2002;54:589-98. View abstract.
Brevetti G, Diehm C, Lambert D, et al. European multicenter study on propionyl-L-carnitine in intermittent claudication. J Am Coll Cardiol 1999;34:1618-24. View abstract.
Brevetti G, Perna S, Sabba C, et al. Effect of propionyl-L-carnitine on quality of life in intermittent claudication. Am J Cardiol 1997;79:777-80. View abstract.
Brevetti G, Perna S, Sabba C, et al. Propionyl-L-carnitine in intermittent claudication: double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose titration, multicenter study. J Am Coll Cardiol 1995;26:1411-6. View abstract.
Brevetti G, Perna S, Sabba C, et al. Superiority of L-propionylcarnitine vs L-carnitine in improving walking capacity in patients with peripheral vascular disease: an acute, intravenous, double-blind, cross-over study. Eur Heart J 1992;13:251-5. View abstract.
Brotzu G, Fadda AM, Manca ML, et al. A liposome-based formulation containing equol, dihomo-?-linolenic acid and propionyl-l-carnitine to prevent and treat hair loss: A prospective investigation. Dermatol Ther. 2019 Jan;32(1):e12778. View abstract.
Campos Y, Arenas J. Muscle carnitine deficiency associated with zidovudine-induced mitochondrial myopathy. Ann Neurol 1994;36:680-1. View abstract.
Cao Y, Wang YX, Liu CJ, et al. Comparison of pharmacokinetics of L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine after single oral administration of L-carnitine in healthy volunteers. Clin Invest Med 2009;32:E13-9. View abstract.
Select a condition to view a list of vitamins
You Might Also Like
CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.