Acetylcysteine is a drug used to aid the dissolving of mucus in conditions such as cystic fibrosis and bronchitis. Acetylcysteine has been found to work by cutting the bonds that keep mucus together. As a result, it can be used in a wide range of respiratory conditions where mucus collection is a typical symptom. It has no major interactions and its side effect profile is quite safe, making it an ideal drug for the conditions it is prescribed for.
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Acetylcysteine is used to break down mucus caused by other chronic or long term conditions. It breaks down mucus in the throat and lungs by cutting the disulfide bonds that keep the mucus together. Acetylcysteine can, therefore, be used to treat the symptoms of cystic fibrosis, bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia and COPD. Thinning mucus allows the patient to cough it up. This allows them to breathe more easily and deeply. Below you will find the uses for Acetylcysteine.
- Cystic fibrosis
It is worth noting that the following doses are not fixed and, instead, depend on the nature of the complaint, its severity, and whether the patient has any complicating factors such as disease or co-administration of other interacting drugs. Below you will find a typical dosage of acetylcysteine.
Dosage for thinning mucus
- Nebulizer: 3-5 mL of 20% solution or 6-10 mL of 10% solution used 3-4 times daily
- Tent or Croupette: Inhale the solution as a heavy mist
Dosage for lung tests
- 1-2 mL of 20% solution or 2-4 mL of 10% solution inhaled 2-3 times before the test
Acetylcysteine Side Effects
Like any drug, acetylcysteine may cause side effects. If you experience severe or persistent side effects, you should contact your doctor. If you have any concerns while taking acetylcysteine, you are best advised to consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information. The list of side effects below is not an exhaustive one.
Consult your doctor should you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Flu-like symptoms
Like any drug, acetylcysteine may interact with other drugs and substances. You should consult your doctor before taking any medication, including over the counter drugs. You should not take acetylcysteine if you have asthma. Below you will find a list of drugs that may interact with acetylcysteine. Note that not all possible interactions are listed.