Acetylcysteine

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: US

Acetadote; Cetylev

Brand Names: Canada

Acetylcysteine Injection; Acetylcysteine Solution; Mucomyst; Parvolex

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat acetaminophen overdose.
  • It is used to thin mucus so it can be taken from the body by coughing.
  • It may be given to your child for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child has an allergy to any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.

If your child is breast-feeding a baby:

  • Talk with the doctor if your child is breast-feeding a baby or plans to breast-feed a baby.
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

All products:

  • Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.

If your child is pregnant:

  • Tell the doctor if your child is pregnant or becomes pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of your child using this drug while pregnant.

Effervescent tablets:

  • If your child is on a low-salt or salt-free diet, talk with your child’s doctor.

Liquid and injection:

  • The drug may change color when the bottle is opened.
  • There may be a bad odor to this drug. This most often goes away fast.

Injection:

  • Very bad and sometimes deadly allergic side effects have rarely happened. Talk with your child’s doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

All products:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.

All oral products:

  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.

Injection:

  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:

All products:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.

Liquid for breathing in:

  • Runny nose.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
  • Clammy skin.
  • Fever.

Injection:

  • Flushing.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

Liquid for breathing in:

  • For breathing in only as a liquid (solution) by a special machine (nebulizer) into the lungs.
  • If this drug is used with a face mask, your child’s face may feel sticky after using. Wash your child’s face with water.
  • Do not use if the solution is leaking or has particles.

Oral liquid:

  • Mix with diet soda and have your child drink.
  • Have your child drink lots of noncaffeine liquids every day unless told to drink less liquid by your child’s doctor.
  • If your child throws up within 1 hour of taking this drug, give 1 more dose.

Effervescent tablets:

  • Melt the tablet(s) in water as you have been told by the doctor. Do not let your child swallow the tablet(s) whole.
  • Have your child drink within 2 hours of mixing.
  • Those who have feeding tubes may use this drug. Use as you have been told. Flush the feeding tube after this drug is given.
  • If your child throws up within 1 hour of taking this drug, give 1 more dose.

Injection:

  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

Liquid and effervescent tablets:

  • Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

Injection:

  • Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Liquid:

  • Store unopened vials at room temperature.
  • Store opened vials in a refrigerator. Throw away any part not used after 4 days.
  • Protect from light.

Effervescent tablets:

  • Store in the original container at room temperature.

Injection:

  • If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2016-03-07

Copyright

© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.