lecithin

General

Complementary/Alternative Medicine: This monograph describes a natural or herbal product that is not subject to FDA guidelines for medicines. Patients and clinicians are advised to read package labels carefully to ensure safe and efficacious use.

Pronunciation:
les-uh-thin


Trade Name(s)

  • egg lecithin
  • soy lecithin

Ther. Class.
lipid-lowering agents
anti-Alzheimers's agents
performance enhancers

Common Uses

  • Hepatic steatosis.
  • Alzheimer's dementia.
  • Hypercholesterolemia.
  • Tardive dyskinesia.
  • Mania.
  • Improving athletic performance.

Action

Lecithin is a phospholipid found in egg yolks, organ meats, nuts, and spinach. It contains phosphatidylcholine, which contains choline which is a precursor to acetylcholine. Lecithin also increases omega-6 fatty acid levels.

Therapeutic Effect(s):

  • Decreased cholesterol levels.
  • As a source of choline, lecithin may improve symptoms of cholinergic diseases.

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption: Unknown

Distribution: Unknown

Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown

Half-life: Unknown

TIME/ACTION PROFILE

ONSETPEAKDURATION
POunknownunknownunknown

Contraindication/Precautions

Contraindicated in:

  • Hypersensitivity.
  • Egg and soy allergy.

Use Cautiously in:

Pregnancy and lactation (when using amounts greater than found in foods).

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Derm: skin reactions (in soy and egg allergic patients)

GI: diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain

* CAPITALS indicate life-threatening.
Underline indicate most frequent.

Interactions

Natural Drug Interaction

None.

Natural-Natural:

None.

Route/Dosage

PO: (Adults) Hypercholesterolemia–20–30 g/day. Athletic performance–3.6 g twice daily. Tardive dyskinesia–20–50 g/day. Mania–10 mg three times daily.Dementia–1.2–45 g/day.

Availability

Capsules
Liquid
Granules

Assessment

  • Assess mental status and memory periodically during therapy.

Lab Test Considerations:

Monitor liver function tests prior to and periodically during therapy.

Potential Diagnoses

Implementation

  • PO: Administer 1 to 3 times daily.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take lecithin as directed.
  • Advise female patient to notify health care professional if pregnancy is planned or suspected or if breastfeeding.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Decrease in serum cholesterol.
  • Improvement in signs and symptoms of cholinergic diseases.
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