Acetylcysteine is used to treat disorders of the airways characterized by an overproduction of mucus. It is a suitable treatment for people suffering from:
- Acute and chronic bronchopneumopathies
- Cystic fibrosis
Moreover, the treatment can be useful in case of pulmonary complications following surgical treatments, tracheotomy or anesthesia. Other possible uses involve the treatment of poisoning by paracetamol, detoxication during treatment for uropathy caused by certain types of chemotherapy and the treatment of ulcers of the cornea or other eye problems with similar structure in which a reduced tearing is associated with an excessive production of mucus.
How should Acetylcysteine be taken?
Acetylcysteine can be taken orally (generally as granules to dissolve in water or effervescent tablets), rectally, in the form of solution to be inhaled via aerosols, a solution that is administered by intratracheal instillation or eye drops. In some special cases (for example to treat acetaminophen poisoning) it can also be administered intravenously.
The mode of administration, the dose and duration of treatment vary depending on the problem to be treated, age of the patient and their individual conditions.
Side effects associated with Acetylcysteine
The potential adverse effects of acetylcysteine use may include:
- Anosmia or dysosmia
Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Acetylcysteine
The use of acetylcysteine is not recommended in cases of:
- Hypersensitivity to the active principle or ingredients
- Children younger than 2 years of age
Furthermore, it must also not be taken simultaneously with the following medications:
- Erythromycin lactobionate
- Amphotericin B