- Acetylcysteine thins tough mucus in the lungs. This makes it easier to cough up.
- With mucus cough, including in the lung diseases COPD, asthma and cystic fibrosis (cystic fibrosis).
- Also used in ‘complex regional pain syndrome’ (persistent pain, skin changes and warm or cold skin after a serious injury).
- With mucus cough, the mucus loosens after about 2 hours.
- Do you have trouble coughing up? Then take this medicine in the morning so that the mucus is released during the day. If you take it in the evening, you have to cough too much at night due to loosening mucus.
- Powder or effervescent tablet: dissolve in half a glass of water, stir and drink immediately. Do not dissolve in milk or other drinks.
- Lozenge: Let it melt in the mouth and then swallow.
- Tablet: take with half a glass of water.
- Drink: shake and measure in the measuring cup and drink from it.
Acetylcysteine is a mucus thinner . It makes thick mucus in the airways thinner (or more fluid), making mucus easier to cough up.
It can be used for cough , COPD , asthma and cystic fibrosis . Sometimes it is used in the pain syndrome post-traumatic dystrophy (complex regional pain syndrome)
- This medicine is mainly used in respiratory diseases associated with the production of viscous mucus , such as bronchitis and emphysema.
- Acetylcysteine makes the mucus thinner and therefore less tough and makes the mucus easier to cough up. It is therefore used for a productive cough (mucus cough).
- The effect starts after 2 to 4 hours. The effect lasts from a few hours to a whole day. This depends on the amount taken.
- COPD is the abbreviation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. With COPD, the airways are permanently narrowed and you have problems with mucus in the airways.
- As a result, you have to cough a lot and are almost always short of breath. The complaints can temporarily increase or improve. The cause of COPD is usually damage to the airways, for example by smoking.
- You can reduce chronic inflammation and further damage to your lungs by stopping smoking. It may take several months for the complaints to subside. Bronchodilators and airway protectors are often used in COPD.
- If you have a lot of tough mucus in the lungs, you can use acetylcysteine.
Acetylcysteine makes the mucus thinner and therefore less tough, making it easier to cough up mucus. The effect is noticeable within a few days.
In asthma the muscles of the airways cramp. The mucous membranes also swell and make more mucus. This will make you short of breath, have to cough and feel short of breath.
These anxiety attacks are caused by stimuli, such as cold air, smoke, exertion, emotions and substances to which you are allergic. There are times when you are more sensitive to these stimuli.
Acetylcysteine makes the mucus thinner and therefore less tough and therefore makes it easier to cough up the mucus. The effect is noticeable within a few days.
- The glands of the lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, skin and mouth make mucus, which, among other things, ensures the transport of waste products.
- Cystic fibrosis (CF), also called cystic fibrosis or cystic fibrosis, is an inherited disease. In cystic fibrosis, the mucus is much tougher than usual. This makes the mucus in the airways difficult to cough up, for example. Bacteria and viruses are thus more difficult to remove from the lungs, causing many respiratory infections.
- To prevent infections and shortness of breath, the tough mucus must be removed from the airways. To make coughing easier, the mucus is diluted, for example with acetylcysteine.
- Acetylcysteine makes the mucus thinner and therefore less tough and therefore makes it easier to cough up the mucus. The effect is noticeable within a few days.
The symptoms of post-traumatic dystrophy (PD or PTD) are:
- unexplained pain in one of the limbs. The pain usually then subsides with movement;
- red or blue color of the skin;
- swelling of the body part;
- difference in skin temperature. At a warm temperature of the skin, one speaks of warm PD;
- painful muscle cramps and loss of touch are uncommon.
- Post-traumatic dystrophy usually develops after an injury to one of the limbs, such as a cut, bruise, fracture or surgery. It expands around this. In some of the patients, post-ramautic dystrophy develops without prior injury. The exact cause of post-traumatic dystrophy is not yet clear.
- In some cases a doctor prescribes acetylcysteine for post-traumatic dystrophy.
How it works
- How acetylcysteine works in post-traumatic dystrophy is not well known.
What is acetylcysteine side effects?
In addition to the desired effect, this drug can cause side effects.
The main side effects are the following.
Very rare (affects less than 1 in 100 people)
- Gastrointestinal complaints , nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. This is because this medicine also affects the mucus in the stomach. Does it continue to bother you? Then contact your doctor
- Sweating, headache, fever and ringing in the ears .
- Hypersensitivity to this drug. You will notice this by a rash, hives and itching. Consult your doctor in case of these symptoms. Severe hypersensitivity may be seen as fainting or swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat. You can get very short of breath. In very rare cases, a serious skin condition with blisters on the skin or on the mucous membranes of the mouth and genitals develops. In all these cases, contact a doctor immediately or go to the Emergency Service. If you are hypersensitive, do not use this medicine in the future. Therefore, inform the pharmacist that you are hypersensitive to acetylcysteine. The pharmacy team can then ensure that you do not receive this medicine or similar medicines again.
- Regular : affects more than 30 in 100 people
- Uncommon : affects 10 to 30 in 100 people
- Rare : affects 1 to 10 in 100 people
- Very rare : affects less than 1 in 100 people
Always look for the correct dosage on the label of the pharmacy or in the package insert.
- Powder or effervescent tablet : dissolve one dose in half a glass of water and stir. Never dissolve it in milk or other drinks, because of separation or decomposition. Drink the solution immediately, you cannot keep it. Never take this medicine in dry form, otherwise it could seriously damage the esophagus. Effervescent tablets sometimes give off a slight sulfur odor when opening the package; this is harmless.
- Lozenge : Let it melt in the mouth and then swallow.
- Tablets : take with half a glass of water.
- Beverage : shake before use. Use a measuring cup to measure out the correct amount.
- People who have difficulty with coughing, often elderly or weakened, should take this medicine in the morning to help release mucus during the day. Otherwise you will have too much coughing at night.
- Cough, COPD, asthma and cystic fibrosis
The duration of the treatment depends on your situation and complaints. In the case of attacks or complaints during certain periods, the treatment can be of short duration, while in some chronic conditions the mucus must be continuously diluted.
- The duration of treatment is usually three months.
- If you are taking this medicine once a day : does it take longer than 8 hours before you have to take the next dose? Then take the forgotten dose. Does it take less than 8 hours? Then skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule.
- If you are taking this medicine twice a day : does it take longer than 4 hours before you have to take the next dose? Then take the forgotten dose. Does it take less than 4 hours? Then skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule.
- If you are taking this medicine 3 times a day : does it take more than 2 hours before you have to take the next dose? Then take the forgotten dose. Does it take less than 2 hours? Then skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule.
- If you are taking this medicine 4 times a day : does it take more than 1 hour before you normally take the next dose? Then take the forgotten dose. Will it take less than 1 hour? Skip the dose you missed.
- There are no restrictions for this with this medication.
It is better not to use this medicine in combination with (over the counter) cough suppressants that suppress the cough. A cough is necessary to get rid of the diluted mucus.
- In consultation with your doctor, you can safely use this medicine in the normal dosage. It has been used by pregnant women for many years without harming the child.
- You can breast-feed safely if you do not use 200 mg acetylcysteine or 600 mg acetylcysteine once a day more than 3 times a day. This medicine has been used for many years by breast-feeding women at this dose without harming the child.
- If you need to use more than 200 mg 3 times a day or 600 mg once a day, consult your doctor.
You can stop taking this drug at any time at once.
- Cough effervescent tablets acetylcysteine
- Acetylcysteine has been on the international market since 1962. It is available without a prescription under the brand names Bisolbruis, Fluimucil and Cough effervescent tablets acetylcysteine and as the unbranded Acetylcysteine. It is available in tablets, oral solution, effervescent tablets, lozenges and powders.
- Acetylcysteine is also available by prescription in infusion, injection and inhalation solutions and as an eye drop. However, this text only deals with products to be taken by mouth.