• ▴ Propionyl-L-carnitine stimulates energy production in ischaemic muscles by increasing citric acid cycle flux and stimulating pyruvate dehydrogenase activity. The free radical scavenging activity of the drug may also be beneficial.

  • ▴ Propionyl-L-carnitine improves coagulative fibrinolytic homeostasis in vasal endothelium and positively affects blood viscosity.

  • ▴ Improvements in maximum walking distance (MWD) correlated positively with increased mitochondrial oxidative adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis in a study in patients with peripheral arterial disease.

  • ▴ Oral propionyl-L-carnitine 1 to 3 g/day significantly improved mean MWD compared with placebo in patients with peripheral arterial obstructive disease (Fontaine Leriche stage II) in double-blind multi-centre phase III studies (mean improvements ranged from 21 to 50% with placebo and from 33 to 73% with propionyl-L-carnitine).

  • ▴ In one phase III study, propionyl-L-carnitine 1 to 3 g/day significantly improved mean MWD (measured by treadmill) compared with placebo (by 73 vs 46% after 24 weeks) in patients with intermittent claudication.

  • ▴ Oral propionyl-L-carnitine therapy was associated with significant improvements in quality of life compared with placebo in patients with a baseline MWD <250m.

  • ▴ Propionyl-L-carnitine appears to be well tolerated, showing a similar incidence of adverse events to that reported in placebo recipients.

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Correspondence to Lynda R. Wiseman.

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Wiseman, L.R., Brogden, R.N. Propionyl-L-Carnitine. Drugs & Aging 12, 243–248 (1998).

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  • Adis International Limited
  • Carnitine
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease
  • Intermittent Claudication
  • Propionyl