N-acetylcysteine for antioxidant therapy: Pharmacology and clinical utility

Seetal Dodd, Olivia Dean, David Leon Copolov, Gin S Malhi, Michael Berk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

326 Citations (Scopus)


Glutathione is an endogenous antioxidant and has a ubiquitous role in many of the body s defences. Treatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been shown to increase levels of glutathione. NAC has been proposed as a treatment for several illnesses. Objectives: The efficacy and tolerability of NAC was examined across a range of conditions to evaluate the evidence supporting the use of NAC for each indication. Methods: A literature search was conducted using PubMed. Information was also collected from other online sources including the websites of the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia and the FDA. Results: Reports ranged from case studies to clinical trials. There is strong evidence to support the use of NAC for the treatment of paracetamol overdose and emerging evidence suggesting it has utility in psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. NAC is safe and well tolerated when administered orally but has documented risks with intravenous administration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1955 - 1962
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Cite this