NAC: Hi All I have just read a article... - British Lung Foun...

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sandraseptember17 profile image

Hi All

I have just read a article about N-Acetylcysteine.( NAC )

it says this supplement can help people with copd.

Has anyone tried it.?

16 Replies


Take your pick.

I have just started to take it in capsule form Sandra but it's too early to say yet if it's got any effect but I'm gonna give it a bash not doing me any harm yet good luck ,

Hi Southp

Thankyou for your reply.

I do hope they work,please let

me know how you get on.

Where do you get the nac from? Do you get it from your gp? If so I will have to ask to try it as well

from holland and barret

You don't get it on prescription in the UK, but you can get the medically approved equivalent Carbocisteine (Mucodyne) from your GP, which does the same thing allegedly more effectively.... and is free if you don't pay for prescriptions..

I have heard via Doctor Larry Lydle the inventor of the Q laser that the laser gets rid gets rid of COPD but I can't say for certain that it will do this.

NAC is talked about on YoU tube here is the link

Hi Sandra,

l found out l had

Hi Sandra,

l found out l had IPF in 2007 and there was no pirfenidone and nintedanib so the only drug available was N-Acetylcysteine.( NAC ) the smell is a bit off putting and it can be bought from health food places as its organic , it did,nt do any good . B

I buy the 600 mg capsules from the internet. I am asthmatic and recovering from pneumonia, my husband has COPD. We have been taking it now for around 2 1/2 weeks and my lungs are definitely feeling better and the breathlessness reduced. My husband felt the effect straight away, as he suffers with forever trying to 'humph' up very stubborn phlegm (very loudly I might add). Since starting the NAC twice a day, he hardly needs to cough or clear his lungs at all, and he remarked as to how much better his lungs feel now. I shall continue to purchase it - at £10 a month for 120 capsules which supplies both of us, it's definitely worth it.

Thank you for replying

have you ever been on carbocisteine capsules,

thats what i am on at the moment.

i was wondering if the nac might work better

I was prescribed NAC by my Hospital Consultant in 2008 and continued to use it until 2013, when it was discontinued. I think that NICE decided that it was not an effective treatment.

I'm a UK expat living in Thailand. A Thai pulmonologist started me on the mucolytic, 'NAC long' acetylsteine, together with a 'Symbicort' corciscosteroid/beta-agonist bronchodilator inhaler and 'Puroxan'. a doxofyline long-lasting bronchodilator (theophyline equivalent) in a period when my lungs were giving me repeated infections. My UK pulmonologist who had been directing an investigation of a lung shadow and history of repeated bronchitis with heavy post-production of sputum had drawn a blank as to cause after his early and long-running insistence I had cancer failed to be franked by the ultimate biopsy. My Thai guy was happy to defer to the heavyweight UK guys on investigation and i next turned to Papworth Hospital (UK), which has a renowned lung defence team. They did not aver from my Thai-designed medicine package during the period when I was successfully diagnosed by their team with, and successfully treated by mild radiotherapy for, a malt lung lymphoma and that did not change when they then later detected bronciectasis.

Having been through the mill a bit with differing lung conditions (badly and correctly diagnosed) and having consulted quite a few pulmonologists in the UK and Thailand I have stuck with the same package, as it always seemed to suit me and I missed the comfort factor if I experimented with dropping any one out. However, when I last consulted the same Thai guy who started me out on NAC long about an infection that my chosen antibis were not successfully treating, he muttered something about recent western research showing that carbocysteine is more effective than acetylcysteine and advised I take that ('Flemex' tablets) instead.

I didn't notice a difference at the time, but tried hard to follow up on his mutterings. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate that research on the internet, failed to see him when the need next arose for specialist input (his holidays) and when mentioning the question on whether one was better than another to a Papworth consultant last week I failed to get a bite on learned research availabilty. The consultant was interested on my opinion which was best for me as I said that I had been self-experimenting between the two this year.

So, I have long run experience of NAC (one 'Temmler' German-made 600mg soluble tablet on waking, which is pleasant and not the malodorous organic substance that one respondent comments on!) and I would not be without it. I have now had two 6 week self-trials on carbocysteine (2 x Flemex 375g tablets, 3 times a day). So far I think the carbocysteine is more productive, but the difference is marginal. The cost is almost identical (in Thailand you can buy everything OTC and I can afford to buy what I hope to be the best rather than take what a free or subsidised health service has chosen to supply, probably heavily influenced by cost). I prefer the once-a-day dosing of NAC though and it's a pleasant effervescent drink to start the days meds with! So I'm going to keep testing until I have a decision! Neither of the two mucolytics give me side effects and the box inserts for both show a notably short and moderate list of possible side effects and drug interactions - though one regular contributor on a bronchiectasis web-site tells me NAC gave him terrible problems but carbocysteine does not. The fact that the UK uses carbocysteine mostly, the Germans manufacture acetylcysteine and the US and my part of Asia uses both suggests that there is probably no definitive view on which is better.

So, my ten cents for what it's worth. My view is that either of the mucolytics is an essential tool in the lung conditions that revolve around sputum production, airway inflammation, coughing and far too regular infection threats or actual outbreaks. Talk to your medical adviser (hopefully a proper pulmo!) if you are not on one of them. Ahh that reminds me - my Thai guy also muttered that there is no reason why you can't double up by using both togeter in a period of exacerbation. In the absence of anything more authoritative than his aside I didn't want to double up but I did add a couple of Flemex carbocysteines on top of my daily NAC long and it did increase the production of sputum and comfort factor so I may do that again.

By the way, most Thai doctors tell you what to do and don't expect discussions around the subject (a symptom of the Asian respect culture), but in this case the reason I display a rather passive attitude to 'mutterings' is because I was at my Thai pulmo's public clinic at the time and I know he does lots of pro bono (free) or low cost work for the poor there. So he tends to do everything in a terrible rush. But he seems to have good intuition and advice for all that. Good on him and I'm not going to get in his way if I can help it. Next time I'll try and catch him at his private hospital slot.

Thankyou for your reply.

I take carbocisteine at the moment

but was hoping the NAC might do a better


l find that the Carbocisteine is more effective.

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