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ALS Worldwide welcomes any questions or comments you might have.  We provide free, personalized and confidential support services to anyone in the ALS community—whether you are a patient or a loved one, friend, health care professional or caregiver of someone diagnosed.

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ALS Worldwide
5808 Dawley Drive
Fitchburg, WI 53711‑7209

ALS Worldwide
August 07, 2015

Effervescent Acetylcysteine

“I take PharmaNAC every day to clear my trache and vent. Without it, I could not stand the accumulation of phlegm and mucus in my nose and throat. My life has been so much easier and better since I began using these tablets via my feeding tube over two years ago.”

Anastasia Stampoulis
Hersonissos, Crete
(Pictured in Crete with Sarah and Steve Byer from ALS Worldwide)

Alleviation of excess phlegm and mucus can be addressed with PharmaNAC, an effervescent n-acetylcysteine supplement.  Congestion—a build-up of fluid or "swollen tissue" in the body, particularly the lungs and/or nasal cavities—is a serious issue for many ALS patients: decreased function of the diaphragm and other muscles makes it difficult to sneeze out excess mucus from the nose or cough up phlegm from the lungs, throat and larynx. Phlegm and mucus contain bacteria, and they attract even more bacteria—which, if not expelled, can put patients at risk for pneumonia.

As a first course of action, patients should contact their doctors. Treatment options may include expectorant cough medicines, decongestants or nasal sprays, antibiotics, inhaled medications, cough assist vests or nebulizers. Over-the-counter cold and respiratory medications may contain other active ingredients that should be avoided.

Effervescent n-acetylcysteine reduces inflammation and phlegm in the respiratory tract by breaking up strands of mucus and phlegm. Each PharmaNAC tablet contains 900 mg of pharmaceutical grade n-acetylcysteine. The effervescence allows it to be quickly absorbed. PharmaNAC also helps to increase levels of glutathione, which is one of the body’s primary antioxidants that both strengthens the immune system and reduces inflammation in the respiratory tract. Each tablet is wrapped in a seal to protect it from degradation and oxidation in order to retain potency.  The tablets dissolve rapidly and have a flavored taste without the “rotten egg” smell associated with other n-acetylcysteine supplements. It is also lactose-free to prevent stomach upset. Clinical studies have shown that  n-acetylcysteine reduces inflammation in the lungs, and that it is safe and well-tolerated.

It is very important that every patient considering this and our other suggestions and recommendations discuss these options with their neurologist, pulmonologist, or other physician. 

PharmaNAC, effervescent n-acetylcysteine, is manufactured by BioAdvantex Pharma Inc., based in Toronto, Canada. BioAdvantex offers a discount for those with ALS/MND. The discount can be obtained by calling 1-888-550-5350. 

PharmaNac can also be purchased at iHerb. The ALS/MND discount is not available, however, international shipping is much less expensive through iHerb.

 If you or your physician have any questions or would like to discuss our viewpoints, please email us at [email protected].