Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Medicines & treatments centre

Terms Of Use

ACETYLCYSTEINE

Brand Name(s) : Ilube, Parvolex
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

ACETYLCYSTEINE WARNINGS

Acetylcysteine eye drops should be used with caution in:

  • None known.

Acetylcysteine solution should be used with caution in:

It should not be used in:

  • Patients with an allergy (hypersensitivity) to acetylcysteine or any of the other ingredients.
  • Patients who wear soft contact lenses (applies to eye drops only)

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Store below 25°C.

ACETYLCYSTEINE USES

What is it used for?

  • Acetylcysteine is used as artificial tears for conditions called dry eye syndromes. It is also used for the treatment of an overdose of paracetamol.
  • It is a type of mucolytic agent and a derivative of an amino acid (L-cysteine).
  • It is used to moisten the eye. It breaks down a substance called mucus which is found in the eye. This allows tears to cover the surface of the eye more effectively. It also protects the liver from damage if used soon enough after an overdose of paracetamol.
  • In general this drug is used to relieve dry eye syndromes and for treating a paracetamol overdose.
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include:
    Relieving the symptom of dry eyes (associated with various illnesses)
    Reducing the severity of liver damage after a paracetamol overdose.

Listed below are the typical uses of acetylcysteine:

  • Relief of dry eye syndromes that are associated with a lack of tears or mucus or abnormal mucus production
  • Preventing liver damage after a paracetamol overdose.

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Use acetylcysteine eye drops exactly as your doctor has told you. A doctor or nurse will give you acetylcysteine solution by continuous injection if needed to treat an overdose of paracetamol.
  • Use this medication for the duration of the prescription in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Your vision may be blurred if you are using acetylcysteine eye drops. Do not drive or operate machinery unless your vision is clear. Do not wear contact lenses while using the eye drops. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor.

ACETYLCYSTEINE SIDE EFFECTS

Acetylcysteine eye drops:

  • Itching, redness or irritation

Acetylcysteine solution:

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform doctor.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • The doctor or nurse will monitor your side effects while you are receiving acetylcysteine solution.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

ACETYLCYSTEINE PRECAUTIONS

Before taking acetylcysteine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other mucolytic agents; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

  • An allergy (hypersensitivity) to acetylcysteine or to any of the other ingredients.

Before using acetylcysteine eye drops, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

  • None known.

Before using acetylcysteine solution, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

  • Asthma or breathing problems

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol is unlikely to affect acetylcysteine eye drops.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

The safety of acetylcysteine has not been established during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

It is not known whether acetylcysteine passes into breast milk. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

ACETYLCYSTEINE INTERACTIONS

Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

There are no known significant interactions between acetylcysteine and other medicines. If you experience any unusual symptoms while using this medicine with other medicines, tell your prescriber.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.

ACETYLCYSTEINE OVERDOSE

There is no known risk of an overdose with acetylcysteine eye drops.

If you are given too much acetylcysteine solution, you may develop allergic (hypersensitive) side effects, such as feeling or being sick, skin irritation at the injection site, flushing, itching, rashes, swelling, difficulty breathing, dizziness and a rapid heart beat. These effects usually occur between 15 and 60 minutes after the start of treatment and are usually relieved by the stopping the medication. In some cases, treatment with other drugs, such as antihistamines, may be necessary. Once the allergic reaction is under control, acetylcysteine solution can be given again.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of acetylcysteine or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose of acetylcysteine eye drops, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Find a medication

Search by medication name for information on over-the-counter or prescription medications including side effects and interactions.
indicates detailed medicines information

Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

Search for a medicine or treatment

Search by medicine name or treatment for information including side effects and interactions.

Ex. Simvastatin, Ibuprofen, Amitriptyline Hydrochlorine

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

man holding back
Myths & facts about back pain
hands grabbing knee
How to keep your joints healthy
bowl of soup
Small changes that lead to weight loss
man administering eyedrops
Taking on eye allergies
79x79_hairloss_in_women.jpg
Do you know what causes hair loss?
woman exercising
Exercises for low back pain
infected toenail
How to handle toenail fungus
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning for a healthy home
rash on skin
Soothe skin and prevent flare-ups
mother and child
Could your baby be allergic to milk?
pregnant woman eating healthy salad
Nutrition needs before pregnancy