Acetylcysteine is a drug that breaks down mucus, the substance that lubricates many parts of the body such as the mouth, throat, and lungs.

Acetylcysteine inhalation is used to thin the mucus in people with certain lung conditions such as cystic fibrosis, emphysema, bronchitis, pneumonia, or tuberculosis. Acetylcysteine inhalation is also used during surgery or anesthesia, and to prepare the throat or lungs for a medical test.

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  • Mucomyst-10, Mucomyst-20, Acys-5, Parvolex, Mucomyst, Acetadote, Parvolex (obsolete), Solgar NAC, NAC
  • Severity: Moderate
    If any of the following side effects occur while taking acetylcysteine, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

    Less common:
    Wheezing, tightness in chest, or difficulty in breathing (especially in asthma patients)
    Rare:
    Skin rash or other irritation
    Severity: Minor
    Some of the side effects that can occur with acetylcysteine may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

    Less common:
    Clammy skin
    fever
    increase in amount of mucus in lungs
    irritation or soreness of mouth, throat, or lungs
    nausea or vomiting
    runny nose
  • (inhalation solution, intravenous solution, oral capsule, compounding powder, oral tablet)