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Mucolytics

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Updated June 16, 2009

Definition: Mucolytics are a type of medication that make thick mucus more watery so it is easier to cough up. Although, according to the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), they are not considered part of the current standard of care for COPD treatment, some studies have suggested that they may help reduce the number of COPD exacerbations that a patient suffers annually. Mucolytics should be used only under the advice of your doctor.

Acetylcysteine, more commonly known as Mucomyst, is one example of a mucolytic drug. It is usually inhaled through a nebulizer or in some cases, taken orally as a liquid and mixed with either a soft drink or juice.

Pronunciation: Myou-ko-lit-ik
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