Table of Contents > Drug > Acetylcysteine Print



Related terms
Author information


    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Acetadote®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Acetylcysteine Injection;Acetylcysteine Solution;Mucomyst®;Parvolex®

    • It is used to stop problems after an acetaminophen overdose.
    • It is used to stop kidney problems caused by dye studies.
    • It is used to thin mucous so it can be taken from the body by coughing.
    • Acetylcysteine thins fluids in the lungs.
    • It stops unsafe chemicals from forming.


    How to take

    • Liquid for breathing in:
    • For breathing in only as a liquid (solution) by a special machine (nebulizer) into the lungs.
    • Shot:
    • It is given as a shot into a vein over a period of time.
    • Oral:
    • Mix with juice or soda and drink.
    • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.

    Missed Dose

    • Use a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not use 2 doses or extra doses.
    • Many times this drug is taken on an as needed basis.


    • Liquid for breathing in:
    • Store opened vials in a refrigerator. Throw away any part not used after 4 days.
    • Shot:
    • This drug will be given to you in a hospital or doctor's office. You will not store it at home.



    • If you have an allergy to acetylcysteine or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.


    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Wear disease medical alert ID (identification).
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

    Side Effects

    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Cough.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

    Search Site