Carbocisteine

  • Carbocisteine is used to make it easier to cough up sputum in some respiratory problems.
  • It works best when it is taken regularly.
  • There are two strengths of the oral solution - an adult strength and a child strength.
  • Side-effects with carbocisteine are rare but may include allergic reactions and gastro-intestinal bleeding.

About carbocisteine

Type of medicine Mucolytic
Used for To help clear sputum where respiratory disease is associated with a productive cough
Also called Mucodyne®
Available as Capsules, oral liquid for adults, and oral liquid for children (aged 2-12 years)

Carbocisteine works by making sputum (phlegm) less thick and sticky, and therefore easier to cough up. This may also have an additional effect of making it harder for bacteria to cause chest infections.

Before taking carbocisteine

Before taking carbocisteine make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have, or have ever had, an ulcer in your stomach or small intestine.
  • If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.

How to take carbocisteine

  • Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
  • Take carbocisteine exactly as your doctor has told you.
  • Try to take carbocisteine at the same times each day to avoid missing any doses.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Keep your regular doctor's appointment so your progress can be monitored.
  • Carbocisteine works best when it is taken regularly. Your doctor will check to make sure it is working well for you.

Can carbocisteine cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them.

Side-effects of treatment with carbocisteine occur only rarely, but may include allergic reactions and bleeding from the gastro-intestinal tract. If you develop any swelling around your face and mouth, difficulty breathing, or a skin rash, stop taking carbocisteine and let your doctor know straight away or go to your local accident and emergency department without delay. If you develop black stools, stop taking carbocisteine and let your doctor know as soon as possible.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store carbocisteine

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.