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Acetylcysteine Prescription
Generic Name: acetylcysteine (oral) (a SEET il SIS teen)
Brand Name: NAC, N-A-C Sustain
Physician reviewed acetylcysteine (oral) patient information - includes acetylcysteine description, dosage and directions.

Average Savings for acetylcysteine (generic): 26.02%
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Acetylcysteine Drug Information:

Acetylcysteine is used to help prevent or lessen liver damage caused by taking large quantities of Acetaminophen (Tylenol). There are other brands and forms of acetylcysteine available, and some can be purchased over the counter. Not all forms of acetylcysteine are effective as an Acetaminophen antidote. Do not attempt to treat an Acetaminophen overdose without medical advice. Acetylcysteine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. In an emergency, you may not be able to tell caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you received this medicine. Learn more

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Acetylcysteine Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to acetylcysteine: oral capsule, oral powder, oral solution

Other dosage forms:

  • inhalation solution
  • intravenous solution
Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, acetylcysteine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking acetylcysteine:

Incidence not known

  • Difficulty with breathing or swallowing
  • fever
  • hives or itching
  • nausea
  • rash with or without a fever
  • reddening of the skin, especially around the ears
  • severe or ongoing vomiting
  • swelling of the eyes, face, or inside of the nose
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of acetylcysteine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Mild nausea
  • stomach upset
  • vomiting

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to acetylcysteine: compounding powder, inhalation solution, intravenous solution, oral capsule, oral tablet, oral tablet effervescent


The most common adverse events were anaphylactoid reaction, nausea, vomiting, flushing, and skin rash.


Anaphylactoid symptoms include airway obstruction (bronchospasm), angioedema, dyspnea, hypotension, shock, tachycardia, urticaria, and injection site reaction (including rash). These are most common either during, or at the end of the loading dose infusion, and may be dose related. Careful monitoring is recommended.

Very common (10% or more): Anaphylactoid reaction (18%)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anaphylaxis

Rare (less than 0.1%): Acquired sensitization

Frequency not reported: Dermal eruptions


Very common (10% or more): Vomiting NOS (12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Nausea

Frequency not reported: Stomatitis


Respiratory symptoms were defined as presence of any of the following: cough, wheezing, stridor, shortness of breath, chest tightness, respiratory distress, or bronchospasm.

Common (1% to 10%): Respiratory symptoms, pharyngitis, rhinorrhea, rhonchi, throat tightness

Frequency not reported: Bronchoconstriction, bronchospasm, irritation to tracheal and bronchial tract (inhalation route), hemoptysis, dyspnea, respiratory arrest, coughing, stridor


Common (1% to 10%): Tachycardia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypotension

Frequency not reported: Cyanosis, tachycardia, bradycardia, cardiac arrest, extrasystoles, flushing, hypertension, vasodilation, ECG changes


Common (1% to 10%): Urticaria/facial flushing, rash NOS, pruritus, flushing

Frequency not reported: Angioedema, sweating, edema periorbital, clamminess


Common (1% to 10%): Edema

Frequency not reported: Acidosis, hypokalemia


Rare (less than 0.1%): Death

Frequency not reported: Fever, malaise, rigors, chest pain, facial pain, facial edema, raised temperature

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Syncope, generalized seizure, drowsiness


Frequency not reported: Injection site reaction


Frequency not reported: Arthralgia, arthropathy


Frequency not reported: Deterioration of liver function


Frequency not reported: Thrombocytopenia


Frequency not reported: Blurred vision, eye pain, puffy eyes, itching/redness/irritation in eyes (ophthalmic formulation)


Frequency not reported: Anxiety

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by USARx EDITORIAL TEAM Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Acetylcysteine (www.drugs.com/mtm/acetylcysteine.html).