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GLUTAMINE (Systemic)

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • NutreStore

Not commercially available in Canada.


  • Short bowel syndrome (treatment)


Glutamine (Gloo-ta-meen) is a substance naturally produced in the body to help regulate cell growth and function. There may also be man-made versions of these substances. Glutamine is used along with human growth hormone and a specialized diet to treat short bowel syndrome

This medicine is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Oral
  • Oral suspension (U.S.)

Importance of Diet

For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.

Before Using This Medicine

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

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to glutamine. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether glutamine passes into human breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of glutamine in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of glutamine in the elderly with use in other age groups. However, elderly patients are more likely to be sensitive requiring the need for dosage adjustment.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of glutamine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Liver disease—May be worsened by glutamine.

Proper Use of This Medicine

Dosing—The dose of glutamine 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 glutamine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For oral dosage form (powder for oral solution):
    • For short bowel syndrome
      • Adults—30 grams per day in divided doses (5 grams taken 6 times a day) for up to 16 weeks. Taken with meals or snacks, 2 to 3 hours apart while awake.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of glutamine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your health care professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

It is very important that your doctor check you at regular visits.

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:

Less common

Blood in urine; changes in skin color; chills; cold hands and feet; confusion; cough; difficulty swallowing; dizziness; fainting ; fast heartbeat; fever; frequent and painful urination; headache; hives; itching; lightheadedness; lower back or side pain; pain, redness, or swelling in arm or leg; puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue; rapid, shallow breathing; shortness of breath; skin rash; stomach pain; sudden decrease in amount of urine; tightness in chest; unusual tiredness or weakness; wheezing

Other 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. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.

More common

Cough or hoarseness; frequent urge to defecate; straining while passing stool

Less common

Abnormal or decreased touch sensation; back pain; bacterial infection; bleeding after defecation; bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at site; bloated full feeling; body aches or pain; breast pain, female; chest pain; change in the color, amount, or odor of vaginal discharge; congestion; constipation; Crohn"s disease, aggravated; dark urine; decreased urination; diarrhea; difficulty having a bowel movement (stool); difficulty in moving; discoloration of fingernails or toenails; discouragement; dry mouth; dryness or soreness of throat; ear or hearing symptoms; excess air or gas in stomach or intestines; feeling sad or empty; feeling unusually cold shivering; flatulence; full or bloated feeling; general feeling of discomfort or illness; increase in heart rate; indigestion; irritability; joint pain;; lack of appetite; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; loss of interest or pleasure; muscle aches and pains; muscle pain or stiffness; nausea; pain in joints; pain or burning while urinating; pains in stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back; passing gas; pressure in the stomach; rash; rectal bleeding; runny nose; shivering; sleeplessness; sneezing; sore throat; stomach bloating, burning, cramping, or pain; stuffy nose; sunken eyes; sweating; swelling of abdominal or stomach area; swelling of face; swelling of hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs; swollen joints; tender, swollen glands in neck;; thirst; trouble concentrating; trouble sleeping; trouble in swallowing; unable to sleep; uncomfortable swelling around anus; unpleasant breath odor; unusual tiredness or weakness; voice changes; vomiting; vomiting of blood; weight loss; wrinkled skin; yellow eyes or skin

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

Developed: 09/24/2004

The information contained in the Thomson Healthcare (Micromedex) products as delivered by is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

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Typical mistypes for NutreStore
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