June 2005, Volume 35 Number 6 , p 12 - 12
© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 35(6) June 2005 p 12 Mistakes in the mist? [MEDICATION ERRORS: ACETYLCYSTEINE ROUTES]
COHEN, MICHAEL R. RPH, MS, ScD
President of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Mucolytic products such as acetylcysteine (Mucomyst), which is approved for bronchopulmonary use, are intended to be administered by nebulization. However, acetylcysteine is also administered by mouth for certain off-label applications, such as treating acetaminophen overdose.
In 2004, the FDA approved an I.V. formulation of acetylcysteine (Acetadote) to treat patients with acetaminophen overdose. Now acetylcysteine is being administered by oral, I.V., and inhalation routes, increasing the risk of confusion—especially because the nebulizer product comes in a vial with a rubber stopper like the injectable product.