Research Article

Adverse reactions to acetylcysteine and effects of overdose.

BMJ 1984; 289 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.289.6439.217 (Published 28 July 1984) Cite this as: BMJ 1984;289:217
  1. T G Mant,
  2. J H Tempowski,
  3. G N Volans,
  4. J C Talbot

    Abstract

    Since the introduction in 1979 of intravenous acetylcysteine (Parvolex) as an antidote for overdosage of paracetamol the National Poisons Information Service and the manufacturer have been notified of 38 adverse reactions that were anaphylactoid in nature and 19 accidental overdoses. The most common feature of the anaphylactoid reaction to normal dosage was rash; other features reported included angioedema, hypotension, and bronchospasm; all the patients recovered. The features associated with an overdose of acetylcysteine were similar but more severe; two patients died, but the extent to which the overdose of acetylcysteine may have been implicated was not clear in either case.