Drug Classification & Information

Taurine is an amino acid which is important for cardiac function.  Deficiency in taurine has led to the development of dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle disease characterized by reduced cardiac contractility.  It is also important for bile acid conjugation in the body. 

Indications for Use

Taurine supplementation is recommended in patients with taurine deficiency dilated cardiomyopathy.  Golden Retrievers are considered a breed particularly sensitive to taurine deficiency.

Potential Drug Interactions

No potential drug interactions noted.

Drug Side Effects

This nutritional supplement is well tolerated with no significant side effects reported.  Rare causes of vomiting have been reported.

Therapeutic Monitoring

When assessing taurine levels, generally both whole blood and plasma levels are submitted for analysis.  When only one can be submitted, then whole blood is recommended.  Reference ranges are provided by the laboratory analyzing the sample.  When used for taurine deficient dilated cardiomyopathy, serial echocardiograms are recommended to follow heart function.  Improvement may take several months to be noted.

Dosage Forms

Various brands are available.  It is recommended to select a brand with good quality control.  Various concentrations are available (500 mg most common) including powder.  When using the powder, mix thoroughly with food.