acetylcysteine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: acetylcysteine (inhalation) (a SEET il SIS teen)
Brand Name: Mucomyst-10, ...show all 9 brand names

What is acetylcysteine inhalation?

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.

Acetylcysteine inhalation may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about acetylcysteine inhalation?

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using acetylcysteine inhalation?

You should not use acetylcysteine inhalation if you are allergic to it.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have asthma.

FDA pregnancy category B. Acetylcysteine inhalation is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether acetylcysteine inhalation passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use acetylcysteine inhalation?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not use acetylcysteine inhalation at home if you do not fully understand all instructions that are specific to your use of this medicine.

Acetylcysteine inhalation solution can be inhaled directly from the nebulizer or with a face mask, mouth piece, tent, or intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB) machine.

Use only the inhaler device provided with your medicine or you may not get the correct dose.

Do not place this medicine directly into a heated nebulizer medicine chamber.

Do not mix your dose of acetylcysteine inhalation until you are ready to use the medicine. Diluted acetylcysteine inhalation must be used within 1 hour of mixing.

Acetylcysteine inhalation liquid may change color once you have opened the bottle. This is caused by a chemical reaction and will not affect the medicine.

You may sense an unusual or unpleasant smell while using acetylcysteine inhalation. This effect should become less noticeable the longer you use the medicine.

Clean your nebulizer right after each use. The residue from acetylcysteine inhalation can clog the parts of the nebulizer.

Store an unopened vial (bottle) of acetylcysteine inhalation at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

An opened acetylcysteine vial should be stored in a refrigerator, but you must use it within 96 hours (4 days) after opening. Do not allow the medicine to freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using acetylcysteine inhalation?

Do not mix other medicines in a nebulizer with acetylcysteine inhalation, unless your doctor has told you to.

Acetylcysteine inhalation side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using acetylcysteine inhalation and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • chest tightness; or

  • trouble breathing.

Common side effects may include:

  • sticky feeling around the nebulizer mask;

  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • fever, runny nose, sore throat;

  • drowsiness; or

  • cold and clammy skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Acetylcysteine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Acetaminophen Overdose:

Give within 24 hours of suspected or known acetaminophen overdose:

Oral:
Loading Dose: 140 mg/kg actual body weight (1.4 mL/kg of a 10% solution) orally, (minimum 4 grams; maximum 15 grams) orally once as a loading dose, followed by,
Maintenance Dose: 70 mg/kg actual body weight (0.7 mL/kg of a 10% solution) orally 4 hours after the loading dose and every 4 hours for 17 total maintenance doses or unless repeated acetaminophen assays reveal nontoxic levels. If the patient vomits the loading dose or any maintenance dose within 1 hour of administration, repeat doses are recommended.

Intravenous:
Loading Dose: 150 mg/kg in 200 mL of 5% dextrose intravenously over 60 minutes (maximum: 15 g).
Second Dose: 50 mg/kg in 500 mL 5% dextrose intravenously over 4 hours (maximum: 5 g). Third Dose: 100 mg/kg in 1000 mL of 5% dextrose intravenously over 16 hours (maximum: 10 g.

Acetylcysteine is most useful within 24 hours of acetaminophen ingestion. Knowledge of acetaminophen levels are not required prior to giving this potentially lifesaving drug. If the first acetaminophen level is in the toxic range, the entire course of acetylcysteine is recommended.

If the intravenous product is not available and the patient is unable to tolerate oral administration, the Rocky Mountain Poison Center can be contacted at 1.800.525.6115 for information on the protocol and preparation of IV acetylcysteine.

Usual Adult Dose for Mucolytic:

5 to 10 mL of a 10% or 20% solution by nebulizer every 4 to 6 hours,

- or-

1 to 2 mL of a 10% or 20% solution directly instilled into a tracheostomy as often as every hour,

- or-

2 to 4 mL of a 10% solution or 1 to 2 mL of a 20% solution intratracheally every 1 to 4 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Diagnostic Bronchograms:

to decrease bronchopulmonary secretions prior to diagnostic bronchogram:

2 to 4 mL of a 10% solution or 1 to 2 mL of a 20% solution by nebulizer or by intratracheal instillation 2 to 3 times prior to the procedure.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Acetaminophen Overdose:

Give within 24 hours of suspected or known acetaminophen overdose:

Oral:
Loading Dose: 140 mg/kg actual body weight (1.4 mL/kg of a 10% solution) orally, (minimum 4 grams; maximum 15 grams) orally once as a loading dose.
Maintenance Dose: 70 mg/kg actual body weight (0.7 mL/kg of a 10% solution) orally 4 hours after the loading dose and every 4 hours for 17 total maintenance doses or unless repeated acetaminophen assays reveal nontoxic levels.

Intravenous:
Loading Dose: 150 mg/kg in 200 mL of 5% dextrose intravenously over 60 minutes (maximum: 15 g).
Second Dose: 50 mg/kg in 500 mL 5% dextrose intravenously over 4 hours (maximum: 5 g). Third Dose: 100 mg/kg in 1000 mL of 5% dextrose intravenously over 16 hours (maximum: 10 g).

Acetylcysteine is most useful within 24 hours of acetaminophen ingestion. Knowledge of acetaminophen levels are not required prior to giving this potentially lifesaving drug. If the first acetaminophen level is in the toxic range, the entire course of acetylcysteine is recommended.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Mucolytic:

1 month to 11 months:
2 to 4 mL of a 10% solution or 1 to 2 mL of a 20% solution by nebulizer three or four times a day.
1 year to 11 years:
6 to 10 mL of a 10% solution or 3 to 5 mL of a 20% solution by nebulizer three to four times a day,
12 years or older:
5 to 10 mL of a 10% or 20% solution by nebulizer three to four times a day,
- or-
1 to 2 mL of a 10% or 20% solution directly instilled into a tracheostomy as often as every hour,
- or-
2 to 4 mL of a 10% solution or 1 to 2 mL of a 20% solution intratracheally every 1 to 4 hours.

What other drugs will affect acetylcysteine inhalation?

Other drugs may interact with acetylcysteine inhalation, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about acetylcysteine inhalation.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 2014-02-27, 1:39:44 PM.

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