The reference site for Acetylcysteine

Acetylcysteine, is a medication used to treat paracetamol overdose and to loosen thick mucus or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

WHAT IS Acetylcysteine?

Acetylcysteine is a mucolytic (medicine that destroys or dissolves mucus). It is usually given by inhalation but may be given in other ways in a hospital.
This medicine is used for certain lung conditions when increased amounts of mucus make breathing difficult. Acetylcysteine liquefies or dissolves mucus so that it may be coughed up. Sometimes the mucus may have to be removed by suction.
Additionally, acetylcysteine, administered orally, is indicated as an antidote to prevent or lessen hepatic injury which may occur following the ingestion of a potentially hepatotoxic quantity of acetaminophen.

 

Brand Name(s): Mucomyst; Mucomyst-10; Mucosil

CAS nº: 616-91-1

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Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to acetylcysteine and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

Acetylcysteine has been approved by the FDA. A prescription is required for this medicine.
Please visit the official site of the FDA for further information.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Acetylcysteine is a mucolytic (medicine that destroys or dissolves mucus). It is usually given by inhalation but may be given in other ways in a hospital.
Acetylcysteine is used for certain lung conditions when increased amounts of mucus make breathing difficult. Acetylcysteine liquefies (thins) or dissolves mucus so that it may be coughed up. Sometimes the mucus may have to be removed by suction.
Also, acetylcysteine, when administered orally, is indicated as an antidote to prevent or lessen hepatic injury which may occur following the ingestion of a potentially hepatotoxic quantity of acetaminophen.

Other uses for this medicine

Acetylcysteine has also been prescribed to prevent kidney failure due to X-ray contrast products.
The following uses have not been well-established or investigated:

It may reduce the incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations (Pela et al., 1999)

It has been proposed as a supplement for patients with AIDS, who generally have decreased glutathione levels. However, it does not appear to be effective in restoring glutathione levels (Witschi et al., 1995).

An animal study indicates that acetylcysteine may decrease mortality associated with influenza (Ungheri et al., 2000)

Animal studies suggest that NAC may help prevent noise-induced hearing loss (Kopke et al., 2005)

It has been suggested that NAC may help sufferers of Samter’s triad by increasing levels of glutathione allowing faster breakdown of salicylates, though there is no evidence that it is of benefit (Bachert et al., 2003).

There are claims that acetylcysteine taken together with vitamin C and B1 can be used to prevent and relieve symptoms of veisalgia (hangover following ethanol (alcohol) consumption). The claimed mechanism is through scavenging of acetaldehyde, a toxic intermediate in the metabolism of ethanol.
However, it is important that you talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your particular condition.

Dosage and using this medicine

Usage
Use acetylcysteine only as directed . Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
If you are using this medicine at home, make sure you understand exactly how to use it. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
After using acetylcysteine, try to cough up the loosened or thinned mucus. If this does not work, it may have to be suctioned out. This will prevent too much mucus from building up in the lungs. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
Dosing
The dose of acetylcysteine will vary from patient to patient. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of acetylcysteine so if your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of solution that you use depends on the strength of the medicine and the method of inhalation used. Also, the number of doses you use each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you use the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using acetylcysteine.

For inhalation dosage form (solution):
To thin or dissolve mucus in lung diseases:
Adults and children 
- 3 to 5 milliliters (mL) of a 20% solution or 6 to 10 mL of a 10% solution used in a nebulizer three or four times a day. The medicine is inhaled through a face mask, mouthpiece, or tracheostomy.
- The 10 or 20% solution may be used for inhalation as a heavy mist in a tent or croupette.
- Sometimes the 10 or 20% solution is placed directly into the trachea or through a catheter into the trachea for certain conditions.
For use in tests to diagnose lung problems:
Adults and children
- 1 to 2 mL of a 20% solution or 2 to 4 mL of a 10% solution used for inhalation or placed directly into the trachea two or three times before the test.

What special precautions should I follow?

BEFORE TAKING ACETYLCYSTEINE:
Please inform your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to acetylcysteine. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Acetylcysteine has not been studied in pregnant women. However, this medication has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in animal studies when given in doses larger than the recommended human dose.
Furthermore, it is not known whether acetylcysteine passes into the 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.
Although there is no specific information comparing use of acetylcysteine in children with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.
Additionally, 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 acetylcysteine in the elderly with use in other age groups.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of acetylcysteine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially asthma (acetylcysteine may make the condition worse) and the decreased ability to cough (the mucus may have to be removed by suctioning).

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of this medicine, use it as soon as possible. Then use any remaining doses for that day at regularly spaced intervals.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted side effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Less common

Wheezing, tightness in chest, or difficulty in breathing (especially in asthma patients)

Rare

Skin rash or other irritation
Check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Less common

Clammy skin; fever; increase in amount of mucus in lungs; irritation or soreness of mouth, throat, or lungs; nausea or vomiting; runny nose
For patients using a face mask for inhalation of acetylcysteine
The mask may leave a stickiness on your face. This can be removed with water.
When you use acetylcysteine, you may notice that the medicine has an unpleasant odor at first. However, this smell will go away soon after you use the medicine.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, please consult your doctor.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Before the container is opened, store acetylcysteine away from heat and direct light. After the container is opened, store it in the refrigerator. The opened container should be discarded after 4 days.
Always keep this medication out of reach of children and throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. If you are unsure, please talk with your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In the case of an overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, then call the local emergency services on 911.

Product Images

PICTURES OF ACETYLCYSTEINE PILLS

Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of acetylcysteine that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes, manufacturers and/or distributors.
The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.

Name: ACETYLCYSTEINE
Strength(s): 10%
Imprint: 10% ACETYLCYSTEINE
Manufacturer: ROXANE LABS.

Name: ACETYLCYSTEINE
Strength(s): 10%
Imprint: 10% ACETYLCYSTEINE
Manufacturer: ROXANE LABS.

 

Name: ACETYLCYSTEINE
Strength(s): 20%
Imprint: 20% ACETYLCYSTEINE
Manufacturer: ROXANE LABS.

Name: MUCOMYST®
Strength(s): 20%
Imprint: ACETYLCYSTEINE 20%
Manufacturer: SANDOZ

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