Health Guide
Drug Guide

Carglumic acid (Oral route)


kar-GLOO-mik AS-id

Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:

Uses of This Medicine:

Carglumic acid is used together with diet and other medicines to treat and prevent hyperammonemia (too much ammonia in the blood) when it is caused by the lack of a liver enzyme called N-acetylglutamate synthase (NAGS).

Ammonia is formed in the body when we digest protein. A person without the NAGS enzyme can not process ammonia properly, and too much ammonia will collect in the blood. This will cause serious unwanted effects. Carglumic acid acts by replacing the NAGS enzyme and helps reduce the amount of ammonia in the blood.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of carglumic acid in children.

Older adults

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of carglumic acid in the geriatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

It is important that you and your child follow any special diet instructions from your doctor, such as using a low-protein diet. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

Do not swallow the tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it. Also, it is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

To use:

To use with a nasogastric tube (NGT):

To use with an oral syringe:


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Before you open the bottle, store it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

After you open the bottle for the first time, store it at room temperature. Keep the bottle tightly closed, and away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not refrigerate the bottle. Write the date you used the first tablet on the bottle. Throw away any unused medicine 30 days after the date on the bottle.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Hyperammonemia (too much ammonia in the blood) is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have any of the following symptoms: nausea or vomiting that continues, an increase in the frequency of seizures, a loss of appetite, swelling of the face, tiredness and weakness, or yellow eyes or skin.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
cough or hoarseness
decreased weight
fever or chills
general feeling of discomfort or illness
increased sweating
joint pain
loss of appetite
lower back or side pain
muscle aches and pains
painful or difficult urination
pale skin
runny nose
sore throat
trouble sleeping
troubled breathing with exertion
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose
Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
increase in mucous from the lungs

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Abdominal or stomach pain
change in hearing
change in taste
ear drainage
earache or pain in the ear
lack or loss of strength
loss of taste
sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
stuffy or runny nose
swollen glands

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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Thomson & A.D.A.M