L-Carnitine supplementation in childhood epilepsy: Current perspectives

Darryl C. De Vivo*, Timothy P. Bohan, David L. Coulter, Fritz E. Dreifuss, Robert S. Greenwood, Douglas R. Nordli, W. Donald Shields, Carl E. Stafstrom, Ingrid Tein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


In November 1996, a panel of pediatric neurologists met to update the consensus statement issued in 1989 by a panel of neurologists and metabolic experts on L-carnitine supplementation in childhood epilepsy. The panelists agreed that intravenous L-carnitine supplementation is clearly indicated for valproate (VPA)-induced hepatotoxicity, overdose, and other acute metabolic crises associated with carnitine deficiency. Oral supplementation is clearly indicated for the primary plasmalemmal carnitine transporter defect. The panelists concurred that oral L-carnitine supplementation is strongly suggested for the following groups as well: patients with certain secondary carnitine-deficiency syndromes, symptomatic VPA-associated hyperammonemia, multiple risk factors for VPA hepatotoxicity, or renal-associated syndromes; infants and young children taking VPA; patients with epilepsy using the ketogenic diet who have hypocarnitinemia; patients receiving dialysis; and premature infants who are receiving total parenteral nutrition. The panel recommended an oral L-carnitine dosage of 100 mg/kg/day, up to a maximum of 2 g/day. Intravenous supplementation for medical emergency situations usually exceeds this recommended dosage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1216-1225
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1998


  • Epilepsy
  • Ketogenic diet
  • L-Carnitine
  • Metabolism
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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