Acetylcysteine (Intravenous)

Common Brands Actos
Drug Class
Thiazolidinedione
Controlled Substance Classification
Not a controlled medication
Generic Status
Lower-cost generic available
Availability
Prescription only
Allison Barnes, PharmD
Allison Barnes, PharmD
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Medically reviewed by Allison Barnes, PharmD last update on 20/12/2023

Overview

Acetylcysteine (Intravenous), a pharmaceutical agent administered via intravenous infusion, stands as a multifaceted therapeutic tool with applications spanning various medical domains. This formulation of acetylcysteine is renowned for its efficacy in addressing diverse health concerns, owing to its mucolytic and antioxidant properties.

Mucolytic Action

The primary function of acetylcysteine (Intravenous) lies in its ability to break down disulfide bonds in mucoproteins, thereby reducing the viscosity of mucus. This mucolytic action is particularly beneficial in the management of respiratory conditions, facilitating the clearance of airways in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, and pneumonia.

Antioxidant Capacities

Beyond its role in respiratory health, acetylcysteine serves as a potent antioxidant. By replenishing cellular glutathione levels, it plays a crucial role in detoxifying harmful substances in the liver. This antioxidant function is prominently featured in the emergency treatment of acetaminophen (paracetamol) overdose, a life-threatening condition where acetylcysteine aids in preventing or mitigating hepatic damage caused by the toxic metabolite of acetaminophen.

DRUG STATUS

Availability

Prescription only

Pregnancy & Lactation

Pregnancy