Name: Acetylcysteine

Acetylcysteine Pharmacokinetics



Absorbed following oral administration, with peak plasma concentrations achieved within 1–2 hours.a 119

Absorbed from the pulmonary epithelium.a



Crosses the placenta following oral or IV administration.108

Plasma Protein Binding

50–83%.108 119



Deacetylated in the liver to cysteine.a

Elimination Route

Principally (70%) nonrenal.119


6.25 hours after oral administration.119

5.6 hours after IV administration in adults.108

11 hours after IV administration in neonates.108

Special Populations

In patients with hepatic cirrhosis, plasma concentrations following IV administration are threefold higher.108 Half-life increased by 80% in patients with severe liver damage (i.e., alcoholic cirrhosis [Child-Pugh score of 7–13] or primary and/or secondary biliary cirrhosis [Child-Pugh score of 5–7]).108

Precautions While Using acetylcysteine

Your doctor will check your progress closely while you are receiving acetylcysteine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Serious allergic reactions may occur after receiving acetylcysteine. Tell your doctor right away if you have difficulty with breathing or swallowing, fever, hives, itching skin, rash, nausea, reddening of the skin, especially around the ears, swelling of the eyes, face, or inside of the nose, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

acetylcysteine may increase risk of bleeding in your esophagus and stomach. Tell your doctor if you have severe or ongoing vomiting after taking acetylcysteine.


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Acetylcysteine Brand Names

Acetylcysteine may be found in some form under the following brand names:

  • Acetadote

  • Acys-5

  • Enfolast-N

  • Mucomyst

  • Mucomyst-10

  • Mucomyst-20

  • Parvolex