Elkar for children: instructions for use
An active child with a good appetite always pleases parents and doctors, but in some cases children get tired quickly and do not eat well, their body weight does not increase as quickly as their peers, and their appetite is reduced. So babies are often prescribed drugs that have a positive effect on metabolic processes. One of them is Elkar.
Such a drug is usually in demand to increase appetite, weight gain and improve immunity. However, it is prescribed to children and in serious diseases, for example, with hypoxic brain damage during childbirth or other problems in neurology. If such a drug was prescribed to a child, parents are interested in how Elkar acts on the children's body, whether it is allowed for children under one year old and in what doses it can be used in young patients of different ages.
"Elkar" is a product of the Russian company "PIK-FARMA", also known for the drug "Pantogam». At the moment, Elkar is produced in three different forms.
- Solution to be taken by mouth. This variant of “Elkar” is often called syrup, although it is represented by a clear liquid. It is usually colorless, but may have a slight shade. Such a solution may have a peculiar odor, but often it does not smell. Since this “Elkar” is most often used in children and it is permitted from birth, it is considered to be the pediatric form of the drug.
- Effervescent Granuleswhich are dissolved in water, after which the resulting solution is drunk. Such granules are sold in portion bags containing 1000 mg of active substance each, therefore this form of Elkar is not used in childhood. It is contraindicated up to 18 years.
- Solution, intended for intravenous or intramuscular injection. It is a liquid without any shade, placed in glass ampoules in a volume of 5 ml. One pack contains 5 or 10 ampoules. This form of Elkar is used in severe conditions (often in the hospital) and in the youngest patients, since injections are allowed at any age.
Elkar in the form of an oral solution is presented in pharmacies in three different packages.
- Bottle of 25 ml is usually prescribed to kids up to 3 years. Such a package has a dropper dispenser to accurately measure the number of drops of solution needed for the smallest children.
- Bottles with 50 ml of the medicine are intended for use by children 3-12 years old. Such bottles also have a dropper dispenser. In addition, a plastic measuring spoon is placed in the box, which holds 5 milliliters of medication, and also has 1/2 marks (helps measure 2.5 ml) and 1/4 (to measure 1.25 ml of the drug).
- Vials containing 100 ml of solution, it is beneficial to buy for adolescents over 12 years of age. Together with the bottle in the box there is a measuring cup, which is convenient for dispensing the drug. In such a cup is placed 20 ml of solution.
The main ingredient of any form of Elkar is called left carnitine. He also has a second name - carnifit. In one milliliter of an ingested solution, this substance is contained in a dose of 300 mg. It is supplemented with methyl and propyl parahydroxybenzoate, as well as purified water and citric acid.
Each milliliter of injectable form contains 100 mg of left carnitine, that is, one ampoule of such “Elkar” is a source of 500 mg of the active substance.It is supplemented only with sterile water. There are no other chemical additives in the solution for injections.
Levocarnitine, which is part of all forms of Elkar, is an amino acid that is partially formed in the human body and is obtained from food (mainly from meat products). In its structure, it is similar to vitamins, which are included in group B. This amino acid is very important for various metabolic processes and the formation of energy. The use of Elkar helps to eliminate its shortage or to provide the body with an increased need, for example, with frequent diseases, poor nutrition, stress or heavy physical exertion.
Thanks to left carnitine in sufficient quantities, the following changes occur in the body:
- due to the transfer of fatty acids and their oxidation, the process of energy formation increases, as a result of which fatigue decreases and stamina increases, and also the working capacity is improved;
- protein metabolism is optimized and anabolic processes are activated;
- digestion of food improves, and also activity of digestive juices increases;
- glycogen stores are increasing and more economical, therefore resistance to exercise increases;
- assimilation of carbohydrates and vitamins improves;
- the fat content in the body decreases, and therefore the medicine helps not only with low weight, but also with overweight;
- the formation of endorphins is stimulated, thanks to which Elkar increases resistance to stress;
- macrophages and other immune cells receive more energy, so they more actively repel attacks of infectious agents, which has a positive effect on immunity;
- improves the condition of the nervous and cardiovascular systems, resulting in increased resistance of brain tissue and myocardium to various damaging factors;
- organic acids and various toxic substances are more actively removed from the body;
- metabolic processes are restored if the thyroid function is increased (left carnitine exhibits partial antagonism against thyroxin).
The reason to appoint "Elkar" is:
- support of the body of the newborn at birth ahead of time or after birth trauma;
- the need to stimulate metabolic processes in babies who do not add much weight;
- lowering muscle tone in infants;
- support the body of infants who have reduced sucking reflex;
- the delay in the development of mental or motor functions, as well as the prevention of such disorders;
- growth retardation and underweight in children older than one year;
- significant emotional or physical stress;
- acceleration of recovery after injury or after surgery, as well as after a serious illness;
- brain damage caused by trauma, as well as vascular or toxic genesis;
- anorexia nervosa;
- cardiomyopathies and other diseases in which there is little l-carnitine in the body or it is lost in large quantities;
- chronic inflammation of the stomach or pancreas;
- psoriasis and other skin diseases (the drug is included in their complex treatment).
Elkar injections are most needed for acute hypoxic lesions of the brain or myocardium.
In the instructions for any of the forms of Elkar, among the contraindications, only hypersensitivity to left carnitine or another drug ingredient is noted. Other diseases are not an obstacle to the appointment of the solution.
As a result of treatment with Elkar, abdominal pain and other dyspeptic symptoms may occur. In some children, the solution provokes an allergic reaction. In rare cases, the drug causes myasthenia gravis (such a violation is detected in patients with uremia syndrome).
Instructions for use
The solution is given to children 30-40 minutes before meals, further diluting with some kind of sweet liquid, for example, juice, compote or jelly.You can also dissolve the drug in ordinary water. If the baby is not yet three years old, the use of Elkar is possible only as prescribed by a doctor, and the dosage in the drops is determined individually. Older patients are prescribed medication according to the following schemes.
- If the child is 3 to 6 years old, then a single dosage of “Elkar” will be 5 drops, which corresponds to 100 mg of left carnitine. The drug is given twice or three times a day, and the daily dosage varies from 200 mg (this amount of left carnitine is obtained from 11 drops) to 300 mg (as much active substance is obtained from 16 drops). The duration of the medication is 30 days.
- If a patient over three years old was diagnosed with growth retardation, “Elkar” is taken in 13 drops, which corresponds to a single dose of 250 mg. The medicine is given to the baby twice or thrice a day in a course of 20 days. After 1-2 months, the medication can be taken repeatedly, but sometimes the doctor prescribes a longer therapy - for 3 months without a break.
- If the solution is assigned to a child of 6-12 years old, then 11-16 drops of Elkar are measured at one time, that is, 200-300 mg of the active substance. Since the frequency of use is 2-3 times a day, the daily dosage for patients of this age range from 400 mg (22 drops) to 900 mg (48 drops). It is necessary to give medicine to the child for at least one month.
For adolescents, the doses depend on the reason for using Elkar, for example:
- if the child recovers after surgical treatment or injury, the solution is given twice a day for one to two months, 1500 mg each (for a full measuring spoon containing 5 ml);
- for brain damage, the medication is prescribed for a course of 3-5 days, 2.5 ml each (half a measuring spoon);
- if a teenager is actively involved in sports, he can drink Elkar 2500 mg for 3-4 weeks before the competition 1 to 3 times a day.
The drug in ampoules can be injected into the muscle tissue, but more often administered intravenously. The drug is injected or sprayed for 2-3 minutes, or very slowly drip into the vein using a special system.
For drip injections, one vial of Elkar is combined with 100–200 ml of a glucose or sodium chloride solution. The dosage of the drug in childhood for each patient is determined individually. Usually, injections are prescribed for 3-7 days, and if it is necessary to take Elkar further, go to the solution that you need to drink.
If you inadvertently exceed the dose of the solution, it can cause stomach discomfort, nausea, loose stools and other digestive disorders. To eliminate such signs of overdose, it is recommended to wash the stomach and take a sorbent.
Interaction with other drugs
If you combine the reception of "Elkar" with the treatment of glucocorticoid hormones, then the drug will actively accumulate in the tissues. When combined with other drugs that have an anabolic effect, the effect of Elkar will increase.
Terms of sale and price
To buy a child's Elkar form in a pharmacy, you do not need to take a prescription from a doctor, but a specialist's examination is desirable (and for children under 3 years of age, it is obligatory, since the dose is calculated individually).
The solution in ampoules is a prescription drug, therefore it is sold after the presentation of the prescription from the doctor.
The price of the drug is affected both by its form and the volume of the solution inside the package. For the smallest bottle of 25 ml you need to pay about 300 rubles. A bottle containing 50 ml of solution costs about 360-400 rubles, and the cost of a bottle with 100 ml of the drug in different pharmacies varies from 540 to 640 rubles. The average price of 10 ampoules of Elkar is about 400 rubles.
The shelf life of the sealed solution, which give children to drink, is 3 years. It can be stored at room temperature, putting in a place that will be inaccessible to kids. However, since the bottle has been opened, the medicine should be stored in the refrigerator for no longer than two months.
The shelf life of the injection form is 3 years.You need to keep such “Elkar” at home at a temperature below +25 degrees Celsius.
Approximately 65% of the reviews on the use of Elkar in children are positive. In them, parents confirm the good efficacy of the solution in children with low body mass, CRA, encephalopathy, poor sucking reflex and other problems.
According to moms, the drug is tolerated normally, and side effects in the form of dyspepsia or allergies are very rare. Dosing solution is easy, and the price of "Elkar" most parents call affordable.
However, there are a lot of negative reviews, which indicate the absence of the desired positive effect. Some children after the course "Elkar" noted a marked increase in activity and worsening of sleep. In addition, many parents take the short shelf life after opening as well as the need to keep the vial in the refrigerator as a solution to the minuses.
As for doctors, they speak differently about Elkar. Some experts see its positive effect and are often used in their practice for neurological problems, adding to the complex of treatment to other medicines.
Dr. Komarovsky doubts the need for such a medicine for children. In his opinion, such a solution will not cope with serious diseases, and in milder forms of disease, Elkar is also not needed, since its positive effect has not been confirmed by serious research.
Instead of "Elkar" you can use a drug called "Carniten". This drug is produced by the Italian company not only in oral solution and injectable form, but also in chewable tablets. The basis of this medication is also left-carnitine, so "Carniten" is in demand with the same indications.
In addition, it is possible to replace “Elkar” with drugs with a similar effect (“Cardionate”, “Korilip”, “Pikovit”, etc.), but this analogue should be chosen only with a doctor, because they have different active compounds.
What determines the child's appetite? What can be due to a refusal to eat? Is it necessary to force a child to eat and what can malnutrition turn into? Dr. Komarovsky will share all the rules for feeding a child.