Acetylcysteine, also known as N-acetylcysteine or N-acetyl-L-cysteine ( NAC), is a supplement used primarily in the management of acetaminophen overdose and to produce glutatione in the body as a skin supplement. Other uses include use with Erythropoietin to hold hct high in athletes ( keeping hematocrit high after epo injections /preventing red blood cell count to fall ). It is also used in sulfate repletion in conditions, such as autism, where cysteine and related sulfur amino acids may be depleted.
Nac-long Acetylcysteine is a derivative of cysteine. This compound is sold as a dietary supplement being a super antioxidant and liver protecting drug. It is used as a cough medicine because it breaks disulfide bonds in mucus and liquefies it, making it easier to cough up harmful chemicals. It is also this action of breaking disulfide bonds that makes it useful in thinning the abnormally thick mucus.