Side Effects of Carnitine Supplements

An essential nutrient, carnitine transports fat to your cells to be converted into energy for your body. In addition, carnitine is an antioxidant and helps the brain process serotonin and glutamate.

It is produced in the body, but you can still become carnitine deficient if your body does not produce enough. Carnitine deficiency can be caused by some medications, as well as angina or intermittent claudication.

Types of Carnitine

For those who suffer from carnitine deficiency, there are carnitine supplements available. There are 3 types of carnitine available:

  • L-carnitine
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine
  • Propionyl-L-carnitine

However, as with any medication, carnitine supplements can have a variety of side effects. Here are a number of side effects that can occur from the use of carnitine supplements ranging from mild to serious.

Mild Side Effects

  • Abundance of energy
  • Inability to sleep
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Stuffy nose
  • Restlessness
  • Increased appetite
  • Body odor
  • Rash

Serious Side Effects

  • Increased heartbeat rate
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Impairment of your thyroid hormone if you have low thyroid levels
  • Risk for anorexia nervosa

As with any new medication, be sure to ask your health care professional about your risks. While many of the side effects of carnitine are mild, there are certain risks for those with specific health problems.


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