What should I know about Acetadote before taking it?

Acetadote is an intravenous drug for hospital use only. It is used to treat acetaminophen overdose.

Before taking Acetadote, you should be aware that death has been reported in an asthmatic individual after receiving the drug intravenously. You should therefore let your doctor know if you have asthma. Within the first 30-60 minutes of administration, you may develop flushing of the skin.

In addition, serious anaphylaxis-like reactions may occur, including low blood pressure, rash, shortness of breath and wheezing. If this type of reaction occurs, you will most likely need to be given antihistamines, or even epinephrine, if symptoms are severe. If this reaction occurs, your infusion of Acetadote will have to be interrupted until the anaphylactic symptoms are treated. At that point, your doctor may decide to cautiously restart the infusion and stop immediately if symptoms reappear. If symptoms do reappear, you will need an alternative method of treatment for the acetaminophen overdose.

Another important point is that Acetadote is effective if given within 24 hours of the overdose. The sooner treatment is started, the better the outcome. In addition, if you are pregnant, you should know there have been no adequate studies of the use of Acetadote during pregnancy. However, limited cases of its use in pregnancy have not reported adverse effects on the fetus or mother. The drug is totally cleared from your system 30 hours after it is given. If you are nursing a baby, you may restart nursing after 30 hours. It is also not known if the elderly respond differently from younger patients.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.