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Acetylcysteine


Acetylcysteine ​​or acetylcysteine ​​is a drug  used to thin phlegm in several conditions, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis , or COPD. In addition, this drug is also used to treat paracetamol poisoning.

Acetylcysteine ​​has several preparations, namely tablets, capsules, syrups, injections, or inhalation solutions. As a cough medicine, acetylcysteine ​​works as a mucolytic or phlegm thinner, so that phlegm can be expelled more easily through coughing. It should be noted, this drug is not suitable for dry cough.

What is Acetylcysteine

The groupPrescription drugs
CategoryMucolytic drugs (sputum thinners)
BenefitDilute phlegm and treat paracetamol poisoning
Used byAdults and children
Acetylcysteine ​​for pregnant and lactating womenCategory B: Animal studies have not demonstrated a risk to the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women.

Acetylcysteine ​​is not known whether it can be absorbed into breast milk or not. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Drug formEffervescent tablets, capsules, dry syrup, granules, injections, and inhalation solutions (inhaled)

Precautions Before Using Acetylcysteine

Acetylcysteine ​​must be used as prescribed by a doctor. The following are things you need to pay attention to before using acetylcysteine:

  • Do not use acetylcysteine ​​if you are allergic to this drug. Always tell your doctor about any allergies you have.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have had kidney disease , asthma, heartburn , stomach ulcers, esophageal varices , high blood pressure (hypertension), heart failure , or are on a low-salt diet .
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements, or herbal products.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to the drug, serious side effects, or an overdose after using acetylcysteine.

 Acetylcysteine Dosage and Directions for Use

The doctor will give the dose and determine the length of treatment according to the patient's condition and age. The following is a breakdown of acetylcysteine ​​doses based on the form of the drug:

The form of effervescent tablets , capsules, dry syrup, and granules

Condition: Dilute phlegm

  • Adult: 200 mg 3 times daily, or 600 mg (for effervescent preparations ) once daily. The maximum dose is 600 mg per day.
  • Children 2–6 years of age: 100 mg, 2–4 times daily.
  • Children >6 years of age: 200 mg, 2-3 times daily.

Condition: Paracetamol poisoning

  • Adults: To treat paracetamol poisoning, the form of the drug used is effervescent tablets with an initial dose of 140 mg/kgBW, followed by 17 times a maintenance dose of 70 mg/kgBW, given every 4 hours.

Inhalation solution form

Condition : Dilute phlegm

  • Adult: As a 10% solution, 6–10 ml, 3-4 times daily. The dose may be increased to 2–20 ml, every 2–6 hours as needed. As a 20% solution, 3-5 ml, 3-4 times daily. The dose may be increased to 1–10 ml, every 2–6 hours or as needed.

In addition to oral dosage forms and inhalation solutions, acetylcysteine ​​also has injectable dosage forms. Especially for injectable dosage forms, the drug will be given directly by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor.

How to Use Acetylcysteine ​​Correctly

Follow the doctor's recommendations and the rules for using the drug listed on the packaging label. Do not increase or decrease the dose without consulting your doctor first.

Acetylcysteine ​​should be taken with food or after meals. Take acetylcysteine ​​capsules with water. Do not chew or crush the tablet as this may increase the risk of side effects.

For acetylcysteine ​​in the form of granules, dissolve 1 sachet of acetylcysteine ​​granules into plain water according to the dosage recommended on the label. Stir the solution until evenly distributed before drinking.

For acetylcysteine ​​effevescent tablets, dissolve them in a glass of water before consuming. This medicine should be taken no more than 2 hours after it has been dissolved.

For acetylcysteine ​​dry syrup, shake the bottle before consuming the syrup. Dissolve the contents of the bottle of dry syrup using plain water according to the instructions on the label, then stir until evenly distributed.

Try to take acetylcysteine ​​at the same time every day, for maximum treatment effect. If you forget to take acetylcysteine, take it immediately if the next schedule is not too close. If it is close, ignore it and do not double the dose.

Acetylcysteine ​​injection should only be given by a doctor or medical personnel under the supervision of a doctor. The doctor will inject acetylcysteine ​​according to the patient's condition.

Acetylcysteine ​​inhalation solution is used by inhalation through the mouth using a nebulizer.

To treat paracetamol poisoning, acetylcysteine ​​must be administered in a hospital and under the supervision of a doctor. This is because patients with paracetamol poisoning need to receive close monitoring and check blood levels of paracetamol, liver function tests, and regular complete blood tests.

Store acetylcysteine ​​at room temperature and in a closed container to avoid direct sunlight. Keep medicine out of reach of children.

Acetylcysteine Interactions  with Other Drugs

There are several drug interaction effects that can occur when acetylcysteine ​​is used with other medicines, including:

  • Increased risk of phlegm buildup if used with antitussive drugs, such as codeine
  • Decreased effectiveness of the drug acetylcysteine ​​when used together with activated charcoal
  • Enhanced effect of nitroglycerin in dilating blood vessels (vasodilator)
  • Decreased effectiveness of antibiotics

Acetylcysteine ​​Side Effects and Dangers

Side effects that may arise after using acetylcysteine ​​are:

  • Nauseous
  • Gag
  • Stomach ache
  • Have a cold
  • Sprue
  • Fever

Check with your doctor if the side effects above do not subside. Immediately see a doctor if an allergic reaction occurs to a drug or a more serious side effect occurs, such as:

  • Coughing up blood or vomiting blood
  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Upper abdominal pain that gets worse
  • Vomiting that is persistent and getting worse
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice

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