What is acetylcysteine?
Acetylcysteine is a mucolytic (myoo-koe-LIT-ik) drug that breaks down mucus, the substance that lubricates many parts of the body such as the mouth, throat, and lungs.
Acetylcysteine is used to thin the mucus in people with certain lung conditions such as cystic fibrosis, emphysema, bronchitis, tuberculosis. Acetylcysteine is also used during surgery or anesthesia, and to prepare the throat or lungs for a medical test.
Acetylcysteine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to acetylcysteine.
Before using acetylcysteine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have asthma. You may not be able to use acetylcysteine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.
FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether acetylcysteine inhalation passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not mix other medicines in a nebulizer with acetylcysteine, unless your doctor has told you to.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Symptoms of an acetylcysteine overdose are not known.
Use the medication as soon as you remember the missed dose. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and use the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using acetylcysteine and call your doctor at once if you have chest tightness or trouble breathing.
Less serious side effects of acetylcysteine include:
- unusual or unpleasant smell while using the medication;
- sticky feeling around the nebulizer mask;
- white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
- nausea, vomiting;
- runny nose, sore throat;
- drowsiness; or
- skin rash or clammy feeling.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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There may be other drugs that can affect acetylcysteine, or that should not be used in the same nebulizer. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Acetadote, Acys-5, Mucomyst, Mucomyst-20, N-acetylcysteine, NAC, Parvolex, Parvolex (obsolete), Solgar NAC, acetylcysteine, and Mucomyst-10
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