Home Family Practice L-Carnitine May Reduce Muscle Cramps in Patients With Cirrhosis

L-Carnitine May Reduce Muscle Cramps in Patients With Cirrhosis

Dose-dependent effect seen, with greater reduction tied to 1,200 mg/day

MONDAY, Aug. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) — L-carnitine appears to be safe and effective for reducing muscle cramps in patients with cirrhosis, according to a study published in the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Hiroyuki Nakanishi, from the Musashino Red Cross Hospital in Tokyo, and colleagues prospectively evaluated the ability of L-carnitine (dosed at 300 mg either three times/day [19 participants] or four times/day [23 participants] for eight weeks) to reduce muscle cramps in patients with cirrhosis.

The researchers found that muscle cramping was reduced in 88.1 percent of all participants at the end of the study period and disappeared for 28.6 percent of patients. Overall, the degree of muscle cramping assessed with the visual analogue scale decreased significantly from baseline (P < 0.0001). A higher dose of L-carnitine was significantly associated with a greater percentage of patients with reduced muscle cramps after eight weeks (43.5 percent in the 1,200 mg/day group versus 10.5 percent in the 900 mg/day group; P = 0.037). No adverse events were reported.

“The administration of L-carnitine may be a promising treatment for cirrhosis patients with painful muscle cramps,” the authors write.

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