The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Acetylcysteine (Cetylev) for Acetaminophen Overdose
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The FDA has approved an effervescent tablet formulation of acetylcysteine (Cetylev – Arbor) to prevent or lessen hepatic injury after acetaminophen overdose. Acetylcysteine has been available for years in an IV solution (Acetadote, and generics) and an oral solution for the same indication; use of the oral solution has been limited by its unpleasant odor and taste.

MECHANISM OF ACTION — Acetylcysteine prevents hepatotoxicity by replenishing glutathione and detoxifying N-acetyl-benzoquin oneimine (NAPQI), the highly reactive metabolite of acetaminophen.

ACETAMINOPHEN OVERDOSE — Acetaminophen (paracetamol; Tylenol, and others) is one of the most common drugs taken in overdose. It is available in single-drug immediate- and extended-release formulations, and as a component of many cough, cold, allergy, and analgesic products. Acetaminophen overdose can cause serious ... more      

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Title: Acetylcysteine (Cetylev) for Acetaminophen Overdose
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