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What is Acetadote?

Acetadote is the brand name of injectable acetylcystine, also called N-acetylcystine, or NAC, the active ingredient used to protect the liver after an acetaminophen overdose. Acetadote works by decreasing the production of the toxic metabolite of acetaminophen. When too much acetaminiohen is taken, the normal metabolic processes get overloaded so the process that produces the toxic metabolite does more. Without the action of Acetadote, the excess toxic metabolite binds to proteins in liver cells and causes the cells to die. In order to receive optimal prevention of liver damage, it must be given within eight hours of acetaminophen ingestion.

Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol and numerous drug-combination products. Because of this, it is not difficult to accidentally overdose on acetaminophen.

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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.