advertisement

Meds and you

27 September 2013

N-acetylcysteine for oral use

N-acetylcysteine for oral use is a mucolytic. Mucolytics are drugs that dissolve or break down mucus.

0

N-acetylcysteine for oral use

(Also known as acetylcysteine)

N-acetylcysteine for oral use is the active ingredient of ACC 200 effervescent tablets (Nappi code:824291-018), Solmucol granules for solution (Nappi code:809284-006, 809292-009) & Solmucol lozenges (Nappi code:809306-018).

General information
N-acetylcysteine for oral use is a mucolytic. Mucolytics are drugs that dissolve or break down mucus. This reduces the thickness of mucus and phlegm, making it easier to cough up.

In South Africa N-acetylcysteine for oral use is registered for the treatment of thinning of excessive or thickened mucus secretion associated with non-infectious respiratory tract disorders and cystic fibrosis, and as an antidote in paracetamol overdose.

This medication does not cure the underlying condition, but simply keeps the symptoms under control. For it to be effective it has to be taken regularly, even if you do not notice an immediate effect.

How does N-acetylcysteine for oral use work?
This medication works by breaking some of the chemical bonds between the molecules in mucus. This makes bronchial mucus less thick and sticky and makes it easier to cough up.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 2
Available as: N-acetylcysteine for oral use is available as effervescent tablets, granules and lozenges.
What does it do? N-acetylcysteine for oral use dissolves or breaks down mucus.
Overdose rise: low
Dependence risk: low
Is N-acetylcysteine for oral use available as a generic? yes
Is N-acetylcysteine for oral use available on prescription only? no

User information

Stopping this medicine: treatment with this medication can be safely stopped when no longer needed.

Special precautions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have asthma
  • you have a history of stomach ulcers

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: this medication is safe for use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children under the age of two years.
The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.
Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be taken.
Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.

Possible side effects

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor

Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
nausea/vomiting

X
X

Diarrhoea

X
X

Headache

X
X

Ringing in the ears

X

X
Fever

X

X
Skin reactions - allergic

X

X

Interactions

Drug interactions

Nitrolglycerine may increase lowering of blood pressure

Overdose action
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage
Adults, oral: 200 - 400mg three times daily. For paracetamol overdose, treatment should be initiated within 8 - 24 hours. A loading dose of 140 mg/kg is advised followed by 70 mg/kg every 4 hours for a total of 17 doses.

Interesting fact
This drug has been shown to reduce cravings associated with chronic cocaine use.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 
 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.