Mucodyne/carbocisteine : Hi folks can... - British Lung Foun...

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Hi folks can anyone advise? I’ve been prescibed mucodyne/carbocisteine which I’ve been taking for 2 weeks now can anyone tell me how long it takes to work? Seem to be getting mixed opinions some say within hours and on the other hand I’ve seen some people saying even up to 4 months before they noticed a difference!!! Thanks in advance. Also one GP says it dries up phlegm and another GP says it thins the phlegm?????

21 Replies

I have been on it for some time now and to be honest I do not remember when I noticed a difference but I no longer have the coughing fits because It will not move anymore. It can depend so much on other meds and how your body reacts with them? Try drinking more water?

It is like giving up smoking it can vary on how you feel because of doing so?

Iain1962 in reply to Offcut

Thanks offcut I’m on 2000 mild of water each day approx! And did stop smoking 3 months ago cheers👍

It is meant to thin the mucous but Pete couldn’t get on with it as he was bringing stuff up all day long.

See how things go and get back in touch with your GP if necessary. Xxxx

Iain1962 in reply to sassy59

Thanks sassy👍

It thins the mucus Ian and makes it easier to cough up. I think it usually takes a couple of weeks but most find it does a good job.

Iain1962 in reply to mrsmummy

Thanks mrsmummy👍

I have been on it for nearly six years and hardly have any mucus at all, unless I have an exacerbation. The last one of those I had was September. As far as I remember it improved things quite quickly, but I have only got to the stage of few exacerbations and hardly any coughing in the last year or so. Everyone is different though and it affects people in different ways.

Ty456-1 in reply to Carnival567

Hi my name is sue 123 l take carbocysteine but it doesn’t seem to work for me the mucus seems to come up so far and sticks at the back of my throut I ve got copd and I’ve had lung surgery twice, now l ve got fluid at the bottom of my right lung they are going to remove it next week it will be nice to talk to someone who has the same problems as me I gave up smoking 36 years ago I am 74 yrs old. Any advice on the mucus would be appreciated

Iain1962 in reply to Ty456-1

Thanks sue in a bit new to all this only been of the cigarettes for 3 months best wishes for next week hope all goes well

Ty456-1 in reply to Iain1962

Thanks good luck with the smoking as soon as I gave it up I felt the benefits I think if I had.nt given it up I would.nt be here now

Iain1962 in reply to Carnival567

Thanks carnival👍

It’s supposed to loosen sputum so you can cough it up easier. However, you need to have the right dose. Maximum is 2 capsules four times a day. What dose has your gp prescribed?

It shouldn’t take four months to work. If you have a lot of congestion it perhaps might take a few days to get the sputum up once the carbocysteine starts to break it down.

Carbocysteine works well for some, less so for others. If you haven’t seen a physiotherapist already for advice re active cycle breathing/huffing then consider asking for an appointment. Alternatively, look on YouTube. Flutter Valve, Aerobika and other devices e.g. PEP can help to get the sputum up.

Iain1962 in reply to Bella395

Thanks Bella I’m on the liquid 7.5 mils 4 tines a day also do have an appointment with the respiratory clinic not until July though was the earliest appointment I could get!

Bella395 in reply to Iain1962

The liquid is a lower dose than the capsules. It is good that you are drinking plenty of water. People who have given up smoking sometimes say that it can take a number of months to feel the benefit. As mentioned, have a look on the Internet for active cycle breathing and huffing instructions and do them at least twice a day. You need to shift the mucous from the bottom of the airways up to the top and out. The devices I mentioned might help. The Flutter valve in particular is useful.

I recall my GP telling me it would be three weeks for it to start working. After over four years on it I've wondered if it still works......then I forget my morning dose and oh boy, can I tell the difference! Good luck with it. P

Iain1962 in reply to peege

Thanks peege

I noticed considerable relief within a day or two, and now the relief is almost instant. When I take my two carbocystene capsules, I start feeling the mucus loosen up in my lungs. As has been said, everybody is different though. My advice is to persevere.

Hope you get relief soon.



Iain1962 in reply to ericwood992

Thanks eric

Hi this is very long but just thought I would let everyone know my experience of carbocisteine.

If I take the capsules they give me very bad shakes the first time this happened I was alone in bed at night, it was extremely frightening and the shakes lasted about 45 minutes then abruptly stopped. At that point I didn’t realise it was a reaction to carbocisteine. The next day my son was here, I had taken the carbocisteine as prescribed just before he came. Again the shakes started, my son was so frightened he phoned the surgery, eventually he spoke to a doctor who said to take me upto the surgery he explained the shakes were so bad I couldn’t walk so he was told to send for an ambulance. He was about to phone for an ambulance when the shakes again stopped. It was at this point I realised it was a reaction to the carbocisteine. A few months later I was in hospital with a bad infection and again I was given carbocisteine and again I reacted very badly so stopped taking it. My doctor said that she couldn’t see anything in this medication that I would react to and we came to the conclusion it was the blue dye used to make the capsules.

In February this year I had another bad infection and had read there was a liquid carbocisteine so my doctor prescribed this for me. Unfortunately this gave me horrendous cold sweats. I would be ringing wet with sweat but very cold. Again after much deliberation we realised again it was a reaction to carbocisteine. Needless to say I will not be taking this medication again, I think in future it will be honey and lemon toddy ( with a slug of brandy or good measure lol). Not sure if this will help anyone else, thanks for reading Barbs x

Balloo in reply to barbs47

I hate that stuff I get a terrible rash . I agree add fresh ginger to your toddy visit a phisio who knows how to work on the back of your lungs .

Thins the Mucus & Cough, I have taken Carbocisteine for 4 years , works for me, hardly any Exacerbations. Plenty of Tissues for a runny nose though xxx

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