N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) Overview, Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage, Side Effects



Overview Of N Acetyl Cysteine

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a known supplement that is used for its antioxidant and mucolytic properties. It’s safe and well-tolerated. NAC is a precursor of L-cysteine, It has been used for the treatment of numerous conditions alone or in combination with other medications. NAC is not found in natural sources, although cysteine is present in some nutrients such as yogurt, eggs, garlic, etc…

Nac benefits and Nac side effects

NAC helps the body in replenishing its glutathione stores, glutathione is a potent antioxidant that protects the body from cell-damaging free radicals. Another role of NAC is detoxifying the Liver and Kidneys from potential side effects induced by drugs and environmental factors. Also, NAC Improves Respiratory symptoms in conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) & bronchitis. 

Few pieces of research suggest that NAC may help in improving immune functions, enhance fertility, decrease Insulin Resistance in people with PCOS, and decrease the severity and complications of heart conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, bipolar disorder, and addiction.

In general, NAC offers numerous health benefits, including supporting liver function, boosting the immune system, and improving mental health. However, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects and consult with a healthcare provider before starting NAC supplementation.

Common Uses Of NAC Supplement

  • Acetaminophen toxicity antidote.
  • Treat Abnormal and dense mucous secretions in patients who suffer from:
  • Pneumonia
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • bronchitis
  • tracheobronchitis
  • cystic fibrosis
  • tracheostomy
  • postoperative pulmonary complications
  • posttraumatic chest conditions 
  • Undergoing Pre-diagnostic bronchoscopy
  • Acute hepatic failure (off-label use) 
  • Prevention of contrast-induced nephropathy (off-label use)
  • Topical treatment of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (off-label use)
Uses of NAC

When to take Nac? (N-Acetyl Cysteine)

NAC (N-acetylcysteine) is a versatile supplement known for its antioxidant properties and health benefits. The timing of NAC dosage can be crucial for its effectiveness. It’s essential to consider individual health needs and lifestyle factors when determining the best time to take NAC.

What is the Nac dosage?

NAC Supplement Dosage

The commonly recommended dosage of NAC varies depending on the condition being treated. It’s important to follow the prescribed dosage and consider any specific health conditions or goals.

The commonly used dose of NAC is 600-1200 mg/day and it can be elevated to 1800 mg/day taken by mouth in two or three divided doses. Higher doses may be used in certain medical conditions.

When to Take Nac Morning or Night?

NAC supplement can be used either in the morning or in the evening without any noticeable difference in its action.

And The optimal time for taking NAC depends on the specific health goals and conditions being addressed. NAC has a half-life of about six hours, so spacing out the dosage throughout the day can ensure steady levels in the body.

Is NAC Supplement Good To Be Taken Daily?

NAC is used on a daily bases when the treatment requires frequent use in conditions such as chronic respiratory diseases  (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, etc..). the maximum authorized dose is 600 mg/day, usually taken once daily.

NAC Supplement Benefit in Covid

N-acetylcysteine (administered intravenously, orally, or inhaled) has been used in COVID-19 as NAC has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulating traits. Also, it has the potential to improve therapeutic strategies for COVID-19 and reduce mortality, hospital admission, and the number of patients using a mechanical ventilator, this occurs when NAC is combined with other antiviral medications. 

  • Potential therapeutic benefits of NAC in Covid 19 include:
  • extracellularly scavenging ROS radicals
  • intracellular GSH replenishment
  • cytokine storm suppression
  • T cell protection
  • Decreasing inflammation and tissue injury.

How Much NAC Supplement To Take For Covid?

The Prophylaxis dose of NAC is 600 mg twice daily; to modulate immune system response. treatment dose in case of the appearance of symptoms such as fever or dry cough is 1200 mg twice daily taken to relieve symptoms and accelerate recovery.
NAC with covid

NAC Supplement Is The Best solution for Acetaminophen Overdose!

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is considered the leading therapy for acetaminophen toxicity. NAC is FDA approved for the treatment of potentially hepatotoxic doses of acetaminophen and it is nearly 100% effective if given within 8 hours after ingestion. Taking prescription N-acetyl cysteine by mouth or by IV reduces the mortality rate and complications that may be caused by acetaminophen poisoning. acetaminophen overdose is a case of emergency and it must be treated by a professional healthcare provider.

Acetaminophen metabolism occurs mainly through glucuronidation and sulfation (>90%), with less than 5% being oxidized by CYP450, Oxidation leads to the production of the toxic metabolite which is known as N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI), NAPQI is Responsible for the cellular damage and toxicity. 

In regular doses, glutathione can detoxify NAPQI and prevent tissue damage. In Acetaminophen overdose, glucuronidation and sulfation pathways are saturated, CYP450 pathway produces more toxic metabolites that consume the available glutathione, leading to NAPQI accumulation and tissue damage.

N-acetylcysteine role in Acetaminophen Toxicity:

  1. Increases the quantity of the available glutathione by providing cysteine, which acts as a glutathione precursor. 
  2. Binds to the toxic metabolites and scavenges free radicals. 
  3. Increases mitochondrial ATP production.
  4. Change the microvascular tone to increase the blood flow and oxygen delivery to the liver and vital organs.

What Are the Side Effects Associated With Using NAC Supplement?

NAC may impair blood clotting, so NAC supplements should be avoided 

if the patient suffers from a bleeding disorder or uses blood-thinning medications. Common 

side effects are minimal, some examples;

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth Swelling 
  • Runny Nose
  • Drowsiness
  • Chest Tightness
In rare cases, NAC may cause kidney stone formation.

Can You Take NAC Supplement With Vitamins?

There is no known drug interaction between NAC and any known vitamin.

Some vitamins such as vitamin C may be added to NAC as both of them help in boosting immunological functions.

Who Should Avoid Taking NAC Supplement?

  1. In case of an Allergy
  2. Asthma or decreased lung function (cases of bronchospasm in patients with asthma has been reported)
  3. Bleeding disorder (might increase the risk of bruising or bleeding)
  4. Surgery (might increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery)
  5. esophageal varices 
  6. Gastric ulcer

Is N-Acetyl Cysteine Supplement Safe?

N-acetyl cysteine is probably safe for the majority of individuals and its side effects are minor.

During pregnancy, N-acetyl cysteine crosses the placenta, but there is no proof that it can harm the embryo. It should be used when there is a medical necessity only.

in the case of Breastfeeding, There isn’t enough reliable data to know if N-acetyl cysteine is safe to be used during breastfeeding or not, so it should be avoided. 

How Is NAC Supplement Best Absorbed?

After oral use of N-acetylcysteine, the peak plasma concentration is reached within 1 to 2 hours. Information on absorption in the presence of food is not available, but the administration of charcoal may inhibit NAC absorption as 96% of the drug is adsorbed on the charcoal surface. 

How Do You Find the Best NAC Supplement In 2023? ( Welltopia )

Wellmune is a supplement that provides safe long-term immune support, because it’s a balanced blend of flavonoids, vitamins and minerals ( Quercetin, Vitamin C, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Zinc and Vitamin D3) all of them act synergistically to boost the immune response without over stimulating the immune system. 

N-Acetyl Cysteine act as the precursor of glutathione which is the master antioxidant in our bodies. NAC support mucus clearance and respiratory functions through its ability to cleave disulfide bonds in mucus.

Wellmune Dietary Supplement – 120 Capsules




Table of Contents

Most Popular