Generic Name: Alpha-Lipoic Acid Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available. Avability: OTC Pregnancy Category: N

Uses

What is Alpha-Lipoic Acid used for?

Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a vitamin-like chemical called an antioxidant. Yeast, liver, kidney, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes are good sources of alpha-lipoic acid. It is also made in the laboratory for use as medicine.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a supplement and may possibly be effective for aging skin, decreasing complications following CABG surgery, diabetes, diabetic nerve pain, weight loss, etc.

 

How should I take Alpha-Lipoic Acid?

Alpha-lipoic acid is most commonly taken by mouth for diabetes and nerve-related symptoms of diabetes including burning, pain, and numbness in the legs and arms. It is also given as an injection into the vein (by IV) for these same uses. High doses of alpha-lipoic acid are approved in Germany for the treatment of these nerve-related symptoms.

How do I store Alpha-Lipoic Acid?

Alpha-Lipoic Acid is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Alpha-Lipoic Acid in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Alpha-Lipoic Acid that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Alpha-Lipoic Acid down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Alpha-Lipoic Acid?

Alpha-lipoic acid is possibly safe for most adults when taken by mouth for up to 4 years, when used intravenously for up to 3 weeks, or when applied to the skin as a cream for up to 12 weeks.

Taking alpha-lipoic acid during pregnancy is possibly safe. Pregnant women have safely taken up to 600 mg daily for up to 4 weeks. Alpha-lipoic acid has been started as early as the 10th week of pregnancy and continued as late as the 37th week of pregnancy. Not enough is known about the use of alpha-lipoic acid during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Taking alpha-lipoic acid in large amounts is possibly unsafe for children and infants. Seizures, vomiting, and unconsciousness has been reported for a 14 month-old girl and a 20 month-old boy who took up to 2400 mg of alpha-lipoic acid in a single dose.

Alpha-lipoic acid can decrease blood sugar levels. In theory, alpha-lipoic acid might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Tell people to stop taking alpha-lipoic acid 2 weeks before elective surgical procedures.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Alpha-Lipoic Acid during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Alpha-Lipoic Acid. Alpha-Lipoic Acid is pregnancy risk category N according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Alpha-Lipoic Acid?

People taking alpha-lipoic acid by mouth might get a rash.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Alpha-Lipoic Acid?

Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant. There is some concern that antioxidants might decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for cancers. But it is too soon to know if this interaction occurs.

Alpha-lipoic acid might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking alpha-lipoic acid along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. But more evidence is needed to know if this interaction is a big concern. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Alpha-Lipoic Acid?

Alpha-Lipoic Acid may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

Alcohol can lower the amount of thiamine (vitamin B1) in the body. Taking alpha-lipoic acid when there is a shortage of thiamine might cause serious health problems. If you drink a lot of alcohol and take alpha-lipoic acid too, you should take a thiamine supplement.

What health conditions may interact with Alpha-Lipoic Acid?

Alpha-Lipoic Acid may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Alpha-lipoic acid can decrease blood sugar levels. Your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider. Taking alpha-lipoic acid might interfere with treatments for under-active or over-active thyroid.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Alpha-Lipoic Acid.

What is the dose of Alpha-Lipoic Acid for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Dietary Supplement

Alpha-lipoic acid 300 mg oral capsule:

1 capsule once or twice daily.

Alpha-lipoic acid 50 mg oral tablet:

1 tablet orally per day with a meal.

What is the dose of Alpha-Lipoic Acid for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Alpha-Lipoic Acid available?

Alpha-Lipoic Acid is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral capsule.
  • Oral tablet.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Alpha-Lipoic Acid, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

 

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

Sources

Review Date: November 16, 2018 | Last Modified: November 16, 2018