Why is this medication prescribed?
L-glutamine is used to is used to reduce the frequency of painful episodes (crises) in adults and children 5 years of age and older with sickle cell anemia (an inherited blood disorder in which the red blood cells are abnormally shaped [shaped like a sickle] and cannot bring enough oxygen to all parts of the body). L-glutamine is in a class of medications called amino acids. It works by helping to prevent damage to red blood cells.
How should this medicine be used?
L-glutamine comes as a powder to be mixed with a liquid or soft wet food and taken by mouth twice a day. Take L-glutamine at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take L-glutamine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You will need to mix the medication powder with 8 ounces (240 ml) of a liquid such as water, milk, or apple juice, or 4 to 6 ounces (120 to 180 ml) of a soft wet food such as applesauce or yogurt right before you take it. The liquid or food must be cold or room temperature. The powder does not need to be completely dissolved in the liquid or food before you take the mixture.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking L-glutamine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to L-glutamine, any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking L-glutamine, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
L-glutamine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- abdominal pain
- back, leg, feet, hands, or arm pain
L-glutamine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from direct sunlight and excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.