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Generic Name: lysine (LIE seen)
Brand Names:

What is lysine?

The use of lysine in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Lysine is an essential amino acid. Essential means that it is not produced by the body and therefore it must be taken in either by diet or supplementation. Lysine can be found in foods such as yogurt, fish, cheese, brewer's yeast, wheat germ, pork, and other meats.

Lysine has been used orally in the prevention and treatment of herpes infections (genital herpes and cold sores) and canker sores; in the treatment of Bell's palsy; and to improve calcium use in the body.

Lysine has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of lysine may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Lysine may also have uses other than those listed in this product guide.

What is the most important information I should know about lysine?

Lysine has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of lysine may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking take lysine?

Do not take lysine without first talking to your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease.

Talk to your doctor before taking lysine if you have any other medical conditions, allergies, or if you take other medicines or herbal/health supplements. Lysine may not be recommended in some situations.

Do not take lysine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It is not known whether lysine will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take lysine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. It is not known whether lysine will be harmful to a nursing infant. There is no information available regarding the use of lysine by children. Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without first talking to the child's doctor.

How should I take lysine?

The use of lysine in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

If you choose to take lysine, take it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Doses to prevent cold sores or genital herpes lesions are usually in the range of 500 to 1000 mg per day. Treatment doses for these conditions are usually around 4000 mg per day.

Standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations of herbal/health supplements may provide a more reliable dose of this product.

Lysine is available in tablet and capsule formulations. Other formulations may also be available.

Store lysine as directed on the package. In general, lysine should be protected from light and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

No information is available regarding a missed dose of lysine. Consult your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider if you require further information.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of lysine is unlikely to threaten life. Call an emergency room or poison control center for advice if an overdose of lysine has been ingested.

Symptoms of a lysine overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while taking lysine?

There are no known restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while taking lysine, unless otherwise directed by your health care provider.

Lysine side effects

Side effects have not been reported with the use of lysine. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider if you develop any side effects.

What other drugs will affect lysine?

Do not take lysine without first talking to your doctor if you are taking any of the following antibiotics:
  • gentamicin (Garamycin);

  • tobramycin (Nebcin, TOBI);

  • amikacin (Amikin);

  • kanamycin (Kantrex);

  • netilmicin (Netromycin);

  • neomycin (Neo-Tabs, Mycifradin, Neo-fradin);

  • paromomycin (Humatin); or

  • streptomycin.

Large doses of lysine may increase the toxicity of the medicines listed above. You may not be able to take lysine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with lysine. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider may have more information about lysine.

  • Consultation with a licensed health care professional is advisable before using any herbal/health supplement. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous. Remember, keep this and all other prescription drug products, over-the-counter drug products, and herbal/health supplements out of the reach of children.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:00:26 PM.

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