Acetylcarnitine is an investigational drug in the United states, Italy, United Kingdom, China, Israel, and Norway, and it is approved in Italy, Portugal, Argentina, Chile, Philippines, Australia, and India. Acetylcarnitine can be synthesized, but it is also naturally found in adequate amounts in healthy humans. In human plasma and tissues, acetylcarnitine is the most predominant acylated ester of carnitine, which is an amino acid derivative that is made in the kidney, liver, and brain from lysine and methionine. The main role of acetylcarnitine is to help transport fatty acids into the mitochondrial matrix where fatty acid metabolism occurs.



Acetylcarnitine is not approved for any indication in the United states and Canada, but it is approved and indicated in Italy for cerebrovascular disorders, mental function disorders, peripheral nerve disorders, diabetic neuropathy, and nutritional supplementation; Portugal for mental function disor... Read more


The complete physiological effects of acetycarnitine are still being studied. What has been discovered so far is that acetylcarinitine has positive effects on mental fatigue, neurodegenerative disorders, cognitive functions, peripheral neuropathy, and sperm motility. Specifically, in one study invol... Read more

Mechanism of action

The mechanisms of action of acetylcarnitine have not been fully elucidated, but it seems that the main role of acetylcarnitine is to donate an acetyl group during fatty acid metabolism to help transport fatty acids, such as acetyl CoA, into the mitochondrial matrix where fatty acid metabolism occurs... Read more


Acetylcarnitine supplements are absorbed in a similar manner to L-carnitine.

Protein binding

Information currently not available.

Volume of distribution

Information currently not available.


Information currently not available.

Half life

Information currently not available.

Route of elimination

Acetylcarnitine is eliminated in a similar manner as L-carnitine. Both of which are eliminated by the kidneys and involve tubular secretion.


Information currently not available.

Adverse Effects


Information currently not available.

Food Interactions

    Information currently not available.


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  • Paracetamol(acetaminophen)
  • Paxil(paroxetine)
  • Pamelor(nortriptyline)
  • Panadol(acetaminophen)
  • Patanol(olopatadine ophthalmic)
  • Pataday(olopatadine ophthalmic)
  • Parnate(tranylcypromine)
  • Pazeo(olopatadine ophthalmic)
11 References
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  3. 3 . Salvioli G, Neri M: L-acetylcarnitine treatment of mental decline in the elderly. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1994;20(4):169-76.PubMed: 7813389
  4. 4 . Rebouche CJ: Kinetics, pharmacokinetics, and regulation of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine metabolism. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Nov;1033:30-41.PubMed: 15591001
  5. 5 . Virmani A, Binienda Z: Role of carnitine esters in brain neuropathology. Mol Aspects Med. 2004 Oct-Dec;25(5-6):533-49.PubMed: 15363640
  6. 6 . Giancaterini A, De Gaetano A, Mingrone G, Gniuli D, Liverani E, Capristo E, Greco AV: Acetyl-L-carnitine infusion increases glucose disposal in type 2 diabetic patients. Metabolism. 2000 Jun;49(6):704-8.PubMed: 10877193
  7. 7 . Barhwal K, Hota SK, Jain V, Prasad D, Singh SB, Ilavazhagan G: Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALCAR) prevents hypobaric hypoxia-induced spatial memory impairment through extracellular related kinase-mediated nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 phosphorylation. Neuroscience. 2009 Jun 30;161(2):501-14. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.02.086. Epub 2009 Mar 24.PubMed: 19318118
  8. 8 . Wilson AD, Hart A, Brannstrom T, Wiberg M, Terenghi G: Delayed acetyl-L-carnitine administration and its effect on sensory neuronal rescue after peripheral nerve injury. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2007;60(2):114-8. Epub 2006 Jul 24.PubMed: 17223507
  9. 9 . Ruggenenti P, Cattaneo D, Loriga G, Ledda F, Motterlini N, Gherardi G, Orisio S, Remuzzi G: Ameliorating hypertension and insulin resistance in subjects at increased cardiovascular risk: effects of acetyl-L-carnitine therapy. Hypertension. 2009 Sep;54(3):567-74. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.132522. Epub 2009 Jul 20.PubMed: 19620516
  10. 10 . Brayfield, Alison (2014). Martindale : The Complete Drug Reference (38th ed.). Pharmaceutical Press.
  11. 11 . O'Neil, Maryadele J. (2013). The Merck Index : An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals (15th ed.). Royal Society of Chemistry, The.