European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 29–31

Does N-acetylcysteine increase the excretion of trace metals (calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper) when given orally?


  • E. Hjortsrø
    • Departments of AnaesthesiologyUniversity of Copenhagen
  • J. S. Fomsgaard
    • Departments of AnaesthesiologyUniversity of Copenhagen
  • N. Fogh-Andersen
    • Clinical Chemistry, Herlev HospitalUniversity of Copenhagen

DOI: 10.1007/BF02657052

Cite this article as:
Hjortsrø, E., Fomsgaard, J.S. & Fogh-Andersen, N. Eur J Clin Pharmacol (1990) 39: 29. doi:10.1007/BF02657052


N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is known to decrease the exacerbation rate in patients with chronic bronchitis. It has also been shown that NAC has both an oxygen-radical scavenger and a heavy-metal chelating effect in high intravenous doses. In a study lasting 5 weeks, 10 healthy volunteers were treated with NAC 200 mg t. d. s. for two weeks. The concentrations of trace metals (Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn & Cu) in plasma were measured weekly and daily in a morning spot urine during the investigation.

No significant change in plasma concentration or excretion was found during the two weeks of treatment, implying that additional administration of trace metals is unnecessary for patients treated perorally with a therapeutic dose of NAC.

Key words

AcetylcysteineMetal excretionTrace metalsNAC
Download to read the full article text

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990