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Branched-Chain Amino Acids

IN THIS ARTICLE

Are there any interactions with medications?



Levodopa
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Branched-chain amino acids might decrease how much levodopa the body absorbs. By decreasing how much levodopa the body absorbs, branched-chain amino acids might decrease the effectiveness of levodopa. Do not take branched-chain amino acids and levodopa at the same time.



Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Branched-chain amino acids might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking branched-chain amino acids along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.



Diazoxide (Hyperstat, Proglycem)
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Branched-chain amino acids are used to help make proteins in the body. Taking diazoxide along with branched-chain amino acids might decrease the effects of branched-chain amino acids on proteins. More information is needed about this interaction.



Medications for inflammation (Corticosteroids)
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Branched-chain amino acids are used to help make proteins in the body. Taking drugs called glucocorticoids along with branched-chain amino acids might decrease the effects of branched-chain amino acids on proteins. More information is needed about this interaction.



Thyroid hormone
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Branched-chain amino acids help the body make proteins. Some thyroid hormone medications can decrease how fast the body breaks down branched-chain amino acids. However, more information is needed to know the significance of this interaction.

Dosing considerations for Branched-chain Amino Acids.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • For a brain condition due to liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy): 240 mg/kg/day up to 25 grams of branched-chain amino acids.
  • For mania: a 60 gram branched-chain amino acid drink containing valine, isoleucine, and leucine in a ratio of 3:3:4 every morning for 7 days.
  • For tardive dyskinesia: a branched-chain amino acid drink containing valine, isoleucine, and leucine at a dose of 222 mg/kg taken three times daily for 3 weeks.
  • For anorexia and improving overall nutrition in elderly malnourished hemodialysis patients: granules of branched-chain amino acids consisting of valine, leucine, and isoleucine at a dose of 4 grams taken three times daily.
The estimated average requirement (EAR) of branched-chain amino acids is 68 mg/kg/day (leucine 34 mg, isoleucine 15 mg, valine 19 mg) for adults. However, some researchers think earlier testing methods may have underestimated this requirement and that the requirement is really about 144 mg/kg/day. Other researchers think the EARs for children are also low. EARs for branched-chain amino acids for children are: ages 7-12 months, 134 mg/kg/day; 1-3 years, 98 mg/kg/day; 4-8 years, 81 mg/kg/day; boys 9-13 years, 81 mg/kg/day; girls 9-13 years, 77 mg/kg/day; boys 14-18 years, 77 mg/kg/day; girls 14-18 years, 71 mg/kg/day.

INTRAVENOUS (IV):
  • Healthcare providers give branched-chain amino acids intravenously (by IV) for brain enlargement due to liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy).

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.



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