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  • JUNE 2021 Issue has been successfully launched on 1 June 2021.

Abstract

N-ACETYL-L-CYSTEINE (NAC) IS A PROMISING ADJUNCT FOR PULMONARY AND EXTRAPULMONARY COMPLICATIONS OF CHEMICAL TOXICITY AND MICROBIAL INFECTIONS

Rajagopalan Vijayaraghavan Ph.D. and Senthilkumar Sivanesan Ph.D.*

ABSTRACT

The management of chemical toxicity and pathogenic micro-organisms are highly challenging. Variety of toxic chemicals viz., heavy metals, pesticides, toxic industrial chemicals, extremely toxic chemical warfare agents and other drug related adverse effects affect either a specific organ or the whole system. Similarly, infectious micro-organisms viz., parasitic, bacterial, rickettsial and viral agents cause diseases which may be either localised or sometimes may cause an epidemic to a pandemic situation. The present day, viral infections are causing serious threat. The antidotes and other medical counter measures have to be administered appropriately to reduce the morbidity and mortality. Though, specific drugs for toxic chemicals and antimicrobial therapy are available for the control and management, for the related symptoms other supplemental therapy is essential. One such drug is N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), a sulphur-containing amino acid, which prevents oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis. It is a preferred drug for acetaminophen poisoning and can be a panacea as an adjunct with other specific medications for chemical toxicity and microbial infections. Animal studies and clinical trials have proved the safety and effectiveness of NAC in many pulmonary and extrapulmonary complications of toxic chemicals and infectious micro-organisms. This review describes in detail about the beneficial effects of NAC.

Keywords: N-acetyl-L-cysteine, heavy metals, chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, viral infection and pulmonary toxicity.


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