Acetylcysteine is an expectorant medication that helps to fluidize the secretions produced in the lungs, facilitating their elimination from the airways, improving breathing and treating cough more quickly.
It also works as an antidote to the liver from damage caused by ingesting excess paracetamol, regenerating the stores of glutathione, which is a vital substance for normal liver function.
This medicine is sold commercially as Fluimucil, Flucistein or Cetilplex, for example, and can be found in tablet, syrup or granulated form, for a price of about 8 to 68 reais.
What is it for
Acetylcysteine is indicated for the treatment of productive cough, acute bronchitis, chronic bronchitis, smoking bronchitis, pulmonary emphysema, bronchopneumonia, lung abscess, atelectasis, mucoviscidosis or accidental or voluntary poisoning by paracetamol.
Is acetylcysteine for dry cough?
No. Dry cough is caused by irritation and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract due to microorganisms or irritating substances and the drugs that must be used must have a cough-inhibiting or air-soothing action. Acetylcysteine works by fluidizing secretions and does not inhibit coughing.
This medicine is intended to treat productive cough, which is characterized by a defense of the body to eliminate phlegm, which when it is very thick, can be difficult to eliminate. Therefore, with acetylcysteine it is possible to fluidize the secretions, thus facilitating their elimination and ending the cough more quickly.
How to use
The dosage of acetylcysteine depends on the dosage form and the age of the person using it:
1. Pediatric syrup 20 mg / mL
The recommended dose of pediatric syrup for children 2 to 4 years of age is 5mL, 2 to 3 times a day, and for children over 4 years, the recommended dose is 5mL, 3 to 4 times a day, for about 5 to 10 days. In cases of pulmonary complications of Cystic Fibrosis, the dosage can be increased to 10 mL every 8 hours.
This medicine should not be used in children under 2 years old, unless recommended by the doctor.
2. Xarope adulto 40 mg/mL
The recommended dose is 15 mL, once a day, preferably at night, for about 5 to 10 days. In cases of pulmonary complications of Cystic Fibrosis, the dosage can be increased to 5 to 10 mL every 8 hours.
3. Effervescent tablet
The recommended dose is 1 effervescent tablet of 200 mg dissolved in a glass of water every 8 hours or 1 effervescent tablet of 600 mg, once a day, preferably at night, for about 5 to 10 days.
The granules must be added to a glass of water until completely dissolved. The recommended dose for children aged 2 to 4 years is 1 envelope of 100 mg, 2 to 3 times daily, and for children above 4 years of age, the recommended dose is 1 envelope of 100 mg, 3 to 4 times a day for about 5 to 10 days. In cases of pulmonary complications of Cystic Fibrosis, the dosage may be increased to 200 mg every 8 hours.
The recommended dose for adults is 1 envelope of 200 mg granules, 2 to 3 times a day or 1 envelope of D 600 granules, once a day, preferably at night. In cases of pulmonary complications of Cystic Fibrosis, the dosage may be increased to 200 to 400 mg every 8 hours.
Main side effects
Generally, acetylcysteine is well tolerated, however, in some cases, side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and gastrointestinal irritation may occur.
Acetylcysteine is contraindicated in people who are hypersensitive to the components of the formula.
In addition, this medication should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding, in babies and children under 2 years of age and in cases of gastroduodenal ulcer.