How much do you know about N-acetyl-L-cysteine?


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What is N-acetyl-L-cysteine?

N-acetylcysteine (N-acetylcysteine) is an antioxidant, which is a sulfur amino acid required for the production of glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant enzyme produced in the body that protects against free radical damage. Without GLUTAthione, the body’s immune system is much less able to fight off toxins and diseases. Cysteine, found in β-keratin, is the main protein that makes up nails, skin, and hair, and helps maintain a healthy and youthful appearance by promoting collagen production and skin elasticity.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a form of cysteine that is easily absorbed and utilized by the body through health products. NAC is effective in preventing or treating health problems such as cancer, heavy metal poisoning, smoking, cough, bronchitis, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, acetaminophen poisoning, and septic shock. Its detoxifying effects can be further enhanced by regular exercise, which helps the body fight oxidative stress.

N-a-c is also A precursor to the antioxidant glutathione (GSH), which plays an important role in maintaining A healthy immune system, detoxifying the liver, promoting healthy lungs, and helping us live longer. Unfortunately, our cells don’t take up GSH as efficiently, but our bodies can still take up NAC and turn it into GSH.

This product is a white crystalline powder with a smell similar to garlic and a sour taste. Hygroscopicity, easily soluble in water or ethanol, insoluble in ether, chloroform. It is acidic in an aqueous solution (pH2-2.75 in 10g/L H2O), MP101-107 ℃.

What are the applications of N-acetyl-L-cysteine?

  1. Step 1 Inhale the aerosol

The expectorant effect of acetylcysteine can break the disulfide bond of mucin in sputum because of the sulfhydryl group in its chemical structure, and reduce the viscosity of sputum; It also has a cleavage effect on deoxyribonucleic acid fiber. So regardless of whether the white sticky phlegm or purulent sticky phlegm has a dissolving effect, that sputum is easy to cough up. Clinical use for acute, chronic bronchitis and another cough with sticky phlegm and not easy to cough up patients.

  1. Eye preparations

Acetylcysteine eye drops are suitable for treating punctate keratitis, herpes simplex keratitis, cellular corneal ulcer, and alkaline chemical burns.

  1. Oral preparation
  2. The injection

Acetylcysteine injection can be used in muscles and veins. Acetylcysteine injection was initially used not only to reduce cough and phlegm but also to treat acetaminophen poisoning. Acetylcysteine injection can be used in a wider range of clinical treatments besides the clinical application of oral preparation.

What are the roles of N-acetyl-L-cysteine?

Acetylcysteine efficacy: for acute and chronic respiratory infections, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial lung disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and bronchiectasis caused by dyspnea, and expectoration difficulties.

Points for attention:

  1. It is forbidden in patients with bronchial asthma and should be used with caution in elderly patients with respiratory insufficiency.
  2. Common adverse reactions include cough, bronchospasm, nausea, vomiting, etc.
  3. It can reduce the effect of penicillin and cephalosporin.
  4. Effervescent tablets can not be directly swallowed, to be dissolved in half a cup of warm boiled water, once taken, it is best to take them at night.

Why is acetylcysteine Forbidden in Asthmatics?

  1. acetylcysteine has the risk of bronchospasm adverse reactions, asthma patients should consider choosing other expectorant agents;
  2. Emphasize individualized treatment, benefit-risk assessment, minimize the risk of adverse reactions, and select the best treatment plan;
  3. Standardized basic treatment of asthma is the key, and phlegm removal is only an auxiliary treatment.


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