Effect of acetyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of painful peripheral neuropathies in HIV+ patients

J Peripher Nerv Syst. 1997;2(3):250-2.


We studied the effects of acetyl-L-carnitine on pain in 16 HIV+ patients affected by painful distal symmetrical neuropathy. Patients were treated with 0.5-1 gr per day of acetyl-L-carnitine either i.m. or i.v. for 3 weeks. Pain intensity was measured before and after the treatment by the Huskisson's analogic scale. Ten patients (62.5%) reported an improvement of symptoms, five patients (31.25%) were unchanged, one patient worsened. The results of this open study show that acetyl-L-carnitine can have a role in the treatment of pain in distal symmetrical polyneuropathy related to HIV infection. However, further double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are needed to confirm these preliminary results.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcarnitine / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nootropic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain Measurement / drug effects
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / etiology*


  • Nootropic Agents
  • Acetylcarnitine