Common brand names:
When inhaled by mouth, acetylcysteine is used to help thin and loosen mucus in the airways due to certain lung diseases (such as emphysema, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, pneumonia). This effect helps you to clear the mucus from your lungs so that you can breathe easier.
When taken by mouth, acetylcysteine is used to prevent liver damage from acetaminophen overdose.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be taken by mouth to prevent kidney damage due to dyes from certain X-ray procedures (such as CT scan).
How to Use This Medication
If you are using this medication to treat lung disease, inhale this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. A health care professional will show you the proper way to use this medication. Learn all preparation and usage instructions.
You may notice a slight odor when you first breathe in the medication. This odor will quickly go away. If you are using a face mask to breathe in the medication, there may be some stickiness on your face after use. Wash your face with water to remove the stickiness.
Do not mix acetylcysteine with other inhaled medications unless directed by the doctor or pharmacist.
If you are taking this medication by mouth, take it as directed by your doctor. The solution is usually mixed with another liquid (such as cola) to decrease nausea and vomiting. Drink the medication within 1 hour of mixing.
Tell your doctor if you vomit within 1 hour after taking your medication. You may need to take another dose.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For acetaminophen overdose, the dosage is also be based on your weight.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
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Information expires December 2017.