PetMD Editorial

Updated Aug. 17, 2022

Drug Info

  • Common Name: Carnitor®, L-Carnitine®, VitaCarn®
  • Drug Type: Amino acid supplement
  • Used For: Cardiomyopathies, Obesity, Fatty Liver
  • Species: Dogs, Cats
  • Administered: Injectable, Oral paste, Oral liquid, and 330 mg tablets
  • FDA Approved: No

General Description

Carnitine is an amino acid that your pet’s body uses to turn fat into energy. It is produced naturally in the body out of lysine and methionine, but in pets with heart issues or too much fat in their bodies, more carnitine may be supplemented. Some pets may lack the ability to produce the amino acid, and may need the supplement to make up for this deficiency.

How It Works

Carnitine replaces, or supplements, the carnitine your pet would normally produce on its own.

Storage Information

Read the drug label for storage information.

Missed Dose?

Give the dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose, and continue with the regular schedule. Do not give your pet two doses at once.

Side Effects and Drug Reactions

Carnitine may result in these side effects:

  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

Carnitine may react with these drugs:

  • Valproic acid

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