Acetyl l-carnitine for Fibromyalgia

Acetyl l-carnitine for Fibromyalgia


Fibromyalgia is a very common condition (affecting nearly 5.8 million Americans), which can be a very frustrating and debilitating condition for patients who suffer from it. Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnosis as the criteria for diagnosis is still not widely agreed upon by physicians. As of yet, there is no clear understanding of what actually causes fibromyalgia, though there are some theories on its etiology including a carnitine deficiency or abnormal production of pain-related chemicals. Women are more commonly affected with fibromyalgia than men.

If you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you may have tried analgesics, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants with varying results. A recent study suggests that 2 capsules of 500 mg of acetyl l-carnitine taken daily may be of benefit to those who suffer from this condition.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome:

  • Widespread pain
  • Pain in specific areas where pressure is applied, “pressure points.”

Diagnosis: widespread aching pain for at least three months and have a minimum of 11 locations on your body that are abnormally tender under relatively mild, firm pressure.  Fatigue and sleep disturbances.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  • Constipation/bloating, abdominal pain.
  • Headaches and facial pain
  • Heightened sensitivity.
  • Depression/Anxiety

Conventional Treatment:

  1. Analgesics
  2. Antidepressants
  3. Muscle relaxants
  4. Lyrica (pregabalin)—First FDA approved drug for fibromyalgia.

Recent Study on Acetyl l-carnitine:

“OBJECTIVE: Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a chronic syndrome characterized by widespread pain, troubled sleep, disturbed mood, and fatigue. Several analgesic strategies have been evaluated but the results are moderate and inconsistent. Antidepressant agents are now considered the treatment of choice in most patients. It has been recently suggested that FMS may be associated with metabolic alterations including a deficit of carnitine. In this multicenter randomized clinical trial we evaluated the efficacy of acetyl L-carnitine (LAC) in patients with overt FMS.”

“CONCLUSION: Although this experience deserves further studies, these results indicate that LAC may be of benefit in patients with FMS, providing improvement in pain as well as the general and mental health of these patients.”

In short, the results of this recent study suggest that acetyl-l-carnitine is beneficial to patients with fibromyalgia syndrome.


  1. Rossini M, Di Munno O, Valentini G, Bianchi G, Biasi G, Cacace E, Malesci D, La Montagna G, Viapiana O, Adami S. Double-blind, multicenter trial comparing acetyl l-carnitine with placebo in the treatment of fibromyalgia patients. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2007 Mar-Apr;25(2):182-8.
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