Carbocisteine capsules


I have been given a months supply of Carbocisteine to help thin my sputum an make it easier to bring it up. After a week I am coughing more but the sputum has changed, not sure for the better. I have decided to carry on taking the full course with the hope that things may improve. Can anyone advise me of their experience with it ?Hopefully it may take some time to work.


30 Replies

What dosage have you been prescribed? Sometimes the recommended highest (2 capsules x 3 times a day) is the only one that works when the mucous is really bad. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water.

Yes 2×3times a day just for the trial then maybe 2×2 times a day. Thanks I'll try drinking more, I should be doing that anyway.

Thanks for replying.

Yes I have been on for over 5years and find it very good at bringing up my mucus up no problems you should be alright I got it when I came out of hospital and been on it ever since but remember to drink plenty water with it

Thanks Jim.

Hi just be careful you don't flood yourself out with mucus because I think that's what's been happening with me xx

I've had the same experience I was coughing more with it initially and my mucus changed colour and was advised on here that I needed a routine of clearing the mucus like the active breathing technique so I have and the coughing is a lot less x

Thanks,it sounds promising.

I was put on Carbocisteine for Bronchiectasis, but I had a bad allergic reaction. I came out in a very itchy rash, so I was taken off them. A pity really, because they seemed to thin out my sputum so that I could get rid of it more readily.

It the capsule casing that causes the reaction not the medication they do just a syrup ask your GP about that

I've been on carbocistein for a few years , it was taking me ages to get anything up, remember to drink plenty of water. Hang in there and you'll feel the benefits

I was given them a few years ago to thin the mucus 2x3 daily then reduced to maintance dose 2x2 daily I think they work better without the inhalers I had they been a life saver for me but some chemists are now changing them due to suppliers or budget cuts not certain which but if you are persistent your chemist will get you the brand which suits you I personally like the pastel two coloured one light blue/yellow/whiteish colour the bright orange does not suit me I am aware the medication is the same but the capsules casing differs and can cause problems but as previous messages drink plenty of water

i have been on Carbocisteine for years a life saver when thick phlegm is stuck & will not come up 0n 1 x 3 a day but take 2 x 3 a day when phlegm is thick. They are designed to make phlegm thinner so that it is easier to clear out of the airways. If you have a lot of thick phlegm then they are a god send but i would not be without them otherwise coughing so hard at times to clear thick sticky phlegm

i use a flutter device too

Not sure what a flutter device is, I'm starting rehab in July probably will be introduced to one then.

I have been on the capsules for a long time but still struggle trying to clear chest ,then a visit from physiotherapist suggest i try the Flutter device ,,she asked the doctor saying i would benefit from using one ,sure enough it works.Its a small device that looks like a small pipe but instead of breathing in you blow out into the the device .i can tell you it really does work ,each time i feel clogged up i use it and it always fetches mucus up ,so much easier than all this huffing and stuff ,if you cant get one from your GP they are sold on Amazon .

Thanks Glad.

I just looked on Amazon and am amazed at how much they cost. I think I'll try to get one from my G.P

Thanks again

definitly try your GP ,really works ask your Physio or nurse (if you have one) to get in touch with GP. Unless you have a very understanding one . only took a couple of days and chemist delivered it .

I had to buy mine (£50) because I was told in some areas they are not on prescription. Why? I've had some success with it, but sometimes it doesn't work so well. Could be my technique.

Hi I have only been on carbocisteine for 2 days and the difference is fantastic. Hope it works for you.

Unfortunately when I was put on them I had a bad stomach/bowel upset so had to stop taking them.

Hi Emmo

I am currently struggling with this as the longer I stay on them my stomach seems to be getting worse! I see my dr on weds so I'm going to try and stick with them until then.. but just wondered if you've been given an alternative as they do seem to help with the mucus?

Morning Nicho,I was told it was the only one on the market - I shall be interested if your Doc. gives you an

alternative. good luck.

Ahh ok well I'll ask and see what he says 😊


Hi, Been on the Carbocisteine myself it does what it says on the tin, it thins the mucus and it does bring up rubbish that's in the lungs. Drink plenty of water to help thin the mucus.

Initially you will cough more but it does quieten down as the rubbish comes up to leave a clearer mucus, being clearer it helps decrease the infection rate as it is no longer rubbish.

You will continue to cough a little especially in the morning. Persevere.


Thanks Keith, good advice.👍

Hello grayjay.

I've been taking it 4 toms a day for over a year ! I'm a bit of an opinion the same as yourself ! It makes my sputum kind of bubbly , I ran out a couple of monts ago and dident take any for approximately a month and I have to say I realy don't know if it makes a difference ! But I am still on it ! Not much help to you realy ,

However I was in hospital recently ! Having been put in to a drug induced coma ; my daughter was told to expect the worst and if I did recover I'd would proabably need to have care !! . I did survive and can still walk and do things for my self !

Whilst I was in hospital , the physio therapist gave me a thing called a Pari o-pep ,hygiene - belieger ,. It looks like a small pipe , it's got a ball bearing in side that moves when you blow in to it and pushes air down into your lungs ( haven't explained that very well ) and I have to say it is brilliant for moving the mucus ! I have serious copd and honestly this is the dirt thing I've had that I can honestly say helps ! See if you can ask about it

Regards annabele

Thanks Annabelle, looks like you've been through the mill,I'll ask about the "flutter device" when I see someone again.

The way the flutter works is by causing pressure waves to reflect back down the air column and into the airways loosening the mucus (same principle as a 2 stroke moped engine). If you have an extra pair of hands you can get the same effect by having your back pounded. Physio would show you and extra hands how to do this. Flutter is easier if you can get the technique, usually get training from physio when issued with one as just blowing through it doesn't help.

They are excellent when phlegm is thick & too hard to shift not for clearing up phlegm just for making clearing thick hard to remove phlegm

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