Different meds: It's amazing how many... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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Different meds

It's amazing how many different medications/inhalers are used by us all. I suppose as is often said, we are all different ourselves. I am currently taking symbicort 400 am and pm and it seems to be ok. I do make sure I do not take other inhalers (spiriva) at the same time but give them a break before using the next one.

Having spent the first 5 months of the year on the endless merry-go-round of antibiotics and steroids and trying to stay out of hospital without success, I have now spent 5 months feeling better than I have for a long time. I am putting this down to NAC which I have taken religiously every day. Anyone else found this drug helpful ?

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73 Replies

ha, i take 1 daily,2years now, no cough no mucus ,as yet,bernice

Is symbicort a two long acting one with steroid? What is NAC? Please.


Symbicort is the twelve hour bronchodilator used like secretive I think. NAC is N-Acatyl Cysteine which was promoted to help with COPD symptoms. You need to look it up to see what they say but lots of people take it. I have been dabbling with taking it for a while but only this year have I been religious about it which is why I am thinking it's the reason for my (better than usual) health at the moment.

Thanks that sounds about right...so NAC is it tablet medicine ?ive taken note of it .ill look it up.thanks,to feel a bit active without oxygen,I'm not going down that route or steroids ,acupuncture can clear chests,I will get app.get it cleared.

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Yes NAC is in tablet form and you can now buy it from holland and Barrett. If nothing else I think it boosts the immune system

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Off to get some thanks

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I take N-acetylcysteine (1800 mg/day), but I regard it as a nutritional supplement rather than a drug. It's a form of the amino acid cysteine, slightly modified to increase its bioavailability, with many health benefits beyond the improvement of COPD symptoms

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true stlltrukin,

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You too carrotts, first hand knowledge is very valuable, thank you. Sadie xx

It's very interesting stilltruckin, great to have someone so knowledgeable on the forum. sadie xx

Wow you obviously are well informed about these things. Why does it seem to help COPD. It comes sort of recommended on web sites for copd

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This is a pretty good article about it . . . lef.org/magazine/mag2010/ma...


true stilltrukin,

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Thanks stilltruckin, I'll look up the article. I'm having more sob that normal for the last week or so I've no infection just this annoying increases in sob.

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I had never heard of this but will now be getting some,do the medics recommend this if not why not sounds brilliant.Something else if learned today. :) Janexx

N-acetylcysteine is not licensed as a medicine in the UK, although it may still be prescribed (most frequently for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis).

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true ,

thank-you ,it mixes well does it with other meds im assuming?I read the article sounds excellent. cheers stilltruckin. Janexx

There are no contraindications regarding other medicines. Some people may experience nausea with high doses.

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Im really glad your here thank-you for that info I do feel assured and will purchase some.:)nJanexx

Hi Stilltruckin, do you take NAC, wondered where you got it from, just come back from Holland and Barrett in Telford shoppin centre, They have never heard of it

It's available from H&B online, but it's a somewhat esoteric supplement so not all branches carry it in stock.

H&B in Wellington usually have some on the shelf. I placed a regular order with them a couple of years ago, and they've carried it ever since.

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Thanks for that ,Also just seen on amazon its a lot cheaper But think I will stick to H &B.

Can't expect a business with the overheads of hundreds of high street shops to compete on price with one that's on-line only. I trust the quality of H&B's products, enjoy 'physical' shopping, and don't need to watch the pennies too closely . . .

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Im gonna mention it to my doc today ,if it helps ,y not?

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Hi Meg, let us know please what your doc said about it. thanks BC

Anything that helps !!!

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There's a recent 'hard science' clinical study here . . . ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/233...

[Quote] . . . CONCLUSION: In this study, 1-year treatment with high-dose NAC resulted in significantly improved small airways function and decreased exacerbation frequency in patients with stable COPD. [/quote]


ha stilltrukin,ive taken nac 2year now,had no infections ,take other vits to,bernice

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Thanks for being so informative


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I've just been reading more about NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) , there is a health tip at the end of this page article which people may want to be aware of:


I was chatting with a friend in the US today who said her lung doctor mentioned that there are new studies about NAC N-Acetyl-Cysteine that seems to say this antioxidant prevents exacerbations and flare ups, so he said for her to take it daily.


Hi BC are you referring to a zinc supplement?Do you take it?what if your on carbocisteine again I'm assuming ok I must stop the assumptions they can be the mother of all cock ups!lol Janex

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as stated NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) supplement click on the nutrient.co.uk link above to find out more. Can't quite fathom how you assumed zinc!!! Blame it on the AB's or the weather. :)


Sorry BC they recommend taking a zinc supplement,if taking NAC.I was querying carbocysteine at the same time as NAC and asking if they had some similar ingredients was this ok?Iwas assuming it would be fine,then correcting myself to not assume!Sorry for being so chinese :) Janexx


It states :

Health Tip: NAC may increase urinary zinc excretion. Therefore, supplemental Zinc should be added when supplementing with NAC for extended periods.


I think checking with your GP about supplementing with NAC and zinc might be a good idea.

you can check, drugs and supplements at drugs.com interactions checker.

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Thank-you BC yes I will .Carbocisteine being of the same family' mucolytics' I dont feel as excited about NAC today.A few questions to my doc,I cant imagine taking both would be beneficial one or the other.Thanks again BC Janexx

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Ah, thanks LL, that's really interesting to know. I wonder if The Mucodyne has the same antioxidant qualities as the shop bought NAC.........

Especially interesting for me because I've been taking a maintenance dose of Mucodyne for a few month now and been infection free for 6 whole months which is exceptionally rare for me.

At least I know I can buy some if docs decide to take me off them.

ANYWAY, how's you today?

Can you get to Brockley easily? I only ask because there's the best fish n chip shop in the world there, Brockleys Rock. xxx P

Hiya chemist said it wouldnt harm to have zinc no more than 10mg can make you feel sick,helps with absorption.you might well be covered with multivitamin peeg?I would think you will probably stay on carbocisteine now I think its a long term thing to keep our little ole lungs clear more easily.Brockley is not that far away i will have to get a friend to take me there one day ,cant beat a good fish n chips.Janexx

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Now iam. Really confused again. I was of the understanding that carbo was for thinning mucous but NAC does not have this quality. Anybody got anything further on this

Hi Eve that is exactly what it is for .They are both mucolytics.There is nothing wrong withNAC they both help to prevent by the thinning of mucous so helping the lungs keep clear of the mucous as when this hangs around in our lungs it makes us more prone to infection .With NAC it is wise to take a zinc supplement .My pharmacist suggested with carbocisteine aswell,10mg no higher can make you feel sick otherwise.Eve the best person to ask questions on this is your pharmacist.Something else NAC is used for is paracetamol and certain metals poisoning .Its all very interesting.Janexx

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You probably need to read the information each on NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) and then Carbosisteine to understand the difference entirely Eve3066.

Carbosisteine is prescribed by the doctor specifically as a mucolytic. To help thin mucus.

NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) is promoted / sold as an over the counter health food supplement and described as high in antioxidants that can help support the immune system.

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Yes I understand that but I can't see where they are the same

I think it's because they do both contain same mucolytic ingredient but the shop bought one (NAC) is governed by laws against selling medications so have to call them food supplements.

These laws came out a few years ago to control the complememtry medcines, herbals, vitamins & supplements trade.

Just to confuse the issue the prescribed drug Carbosisteine is also called Mucodyne :D

I don't think they are the same myself.

Good I am glad so me one else thinks this. I have been taking carbo for a couple of years now and was told I two. I'll help with the mucous but nothing else. It's only since taking the NAC that I feel better

Hi Eve3066 that is great and thats whats important its good for you.Do you now take both keep an eye on your BP. "cysteine" is a conditional amino acid which are not usually essential,except in times of illness and stress.This has been a great post I have learned a great deal,I have spoken with one doc,five pharmacists and the BLF.AS BC has suggested be wary where you buy this as there are many variables with the ingredients.Apparently there is no actual reconised literature to refer as far as the pharmacists are concerned.I understand further trials maybe on going in the future.As I said earlier the very best people to talk to re medicines are pharmacists let them know what dosages you are taking of carbocisteine and NAC and let your doc know to be on the safe side.Janexx

Hi BC are you saying that NAC is not a mucolytic?Janexx

No that's not what I am saying.

Sharing what is from links posted on:


ha b,c, i have taken nac for 2 years now, no infections as yet,bernicexx

what dose do you take Bernice?

I'm a bit of quandry because of the zinc excretion, I have to be careful because of my bone health, but I am going to check with my GP about this further. I'm glad its helping you Bernice. x

Please let me know what he says BC. x

Wonder if there's enough zinc in my multivitamin to cover it and also wondering if peeps on Mucodyne should worry about the zinc aspect.

Gawd, I shall have to read it all over again !

lol it gets confusing Peeg :)

Will do Toci but I am not seeing my athlete doc till December probably, if you have a good memory, remind me by pm end of Nov. I try to write myself notes to ask doc.

x BC x

When I first stated to read this post I thought it was a medication you had to get from your GP but Holland and Barrett should have this how much is it, it is definitely worth trying

£8 for 30

I'm not sure why there is such a variation in price, except I know solgar at £20 is vegetable based capsules no idea what is included in the other cheaper brands.

There are reviews on amazon about a cheaper brand which makes interesting reading:


thats for 30 caps,they have larger bottles,at 1 st i took 3 day,then week later 2 day,now 1 day,2years im ok,

Thanks for that Carrots i'm going to town tomorrow will look in Holland and Barrets

have a good scout in there,they will help you say you have copd or breathin probs,,

Yes I will i'm willing to cut my right arm off if it would help thanks again.x

read bc posts and click the link bc done,,keep ur arm ,ow you going talk to us,anddrink ur cuppa cha at same time,lol,stilltrukin done post to,

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Thanks will do I have this 10 years and still learning and will learn a lot more with the help of this site


I think I bought something like 60 capsules for about £6 but I have to admit that my son ordered it over the internet from somewhere I I received a huge bottle, no idea how much. I have to say it is very worth the money although someone on this site has said you can sometimes get it from gp. I must admit I am going to ask mine next time. You need to take 2 x 600 a day which is not cheap in the end.

there's got to be a reason why some are so much cheaper in price and others not, something we are missing I think:


When I started this I had no. Idea how much interest it would stir up. It would be interesting if those. People who are going to start taking NAC could keep us informed after a few weeks if they see any difference, we will do our own little survey !


ive taken it 2 years now,be fore i came on hear,i research my condition ,,,i advice myself ,my copd i see to it,xxbernice

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Yes I agree with you ,I'm on the same path,i will get what I need for me .

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No I am just taking the tablets, twos a day and i am putting my 'better' health adown to this especially after reading the other responses to my original post. I think we are all taking different things depending on where we live and how much research we do. My son found this NAC last year but I didn't really take it seriously until I had such a bad first 6 months of this year. I have my fingers crossed. As I have said before I would be interested in anyone else's experiences.

Great post Eve!

In answer to your original post (and forgive me if I'm repeating myself, just cant keep up :) ): I do take the prescribed version Carbosisteine/Mucodyne and since I have I've not had an infection in six months. I wasn't able to tell if my good luck is down to this med OR the Montelukast or Manuka honey I started to take about the same time........ now I'm thinking it must be the Carbosis.... I was originally given it to help get rid of the last infection in March. I was later advised at Pulmonary Rehab to take it all the time in a maintenance dose of 2 caps am & 2 caps pm then add 2 at midday if I got ill, this is because it takes over 2 weeks to get in the system & start working.

When I'm feeling flush I shall buy the NAC, it appears to have 600mg compared to the Carbo. 175mg.

peeg xx

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Carbocisteine (Mucodyne is just a brand name) is useful for keeping infection at bay by thinning mucus and making it easier to shift and expel. Infection can flourish quickly in mucus so the more you can get rid of the better!! I take the same dose as you 2 morning and night and an extra two if I am feeling I have more congestion than usual. For me, it is essential, I have always found it nigh on impossible to shift the gunk, this makes it far easier. Am interested in the nac too, although not a believer in supplements per se, most of them are just a waste of money and they only people they help are the manufacturers - all the way to the bank. but nac has grabbed my interest and am trying to find out if it can be taken as well as carbocisteine. Sadie xx

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yes the NAC is interesting. It looks as though it has a higher dose of the mucolytic in it, I might get some for when I'm ill and will deffo get it if doc stops the Mucodyne.

Let me know if you find out you can take the two together. P

Hi, have asked someone in the know, you can take them together but you will end up with a larger dose of carbocisteine, so you'd have to see how it goes. Maybe cut one of the carbo doses out if taking together? Sadie xx

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