Carbocisteine

Order Carbocisteine for COPD online

Carbocisteine 375mg is a COPD treatment that helps to clear mucus from the airways, helping you to breathe more easily and reducing the risk of infection.

Our prices

Strength Quantity Price Stock
375 mg120 capsules£21.99In Stock
375 mg240 capsules£38.99In Stock
Prices exclude a prescription fee. This treatment requires a quick online consultation,
which a doctor will review to determine if a prescription is appropriate.

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About

What is carbocisteine?

Carbocisteine is a medication used in the treatment of COPD. It is a mucolytic, which means that it breaks down mucus helping you to breathe more easily.

What are carbocisteine tablets for?

Carbocisteine is predominantly used in the treatment of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Chronic bronchitis is a type of COPD in which there is a build-up of mucus inside the airways. This leads to breathing difficulties and also makes you more prone to infection. Carbocisteine helps to break down the mucus to reduce these symptoms.

How carbocisteine works?

Carbocisteine is a type of drug known as a mucolytic. Mucolytics work by breaking down mucus. In chronic bronchitis - a type of COPD - a build-up of mucus in the lungs leads to breathing difficulties and can also encourage infections to occur. Carbocisteine helps to relieve these problems by clearing the mucus from the airways.

What is carbocisteine used for?

Carbocisteine is used for the treatment of COPD and other respiratory conditions where a build-up of mucus affects the lungs.

How long does carbocisteine take to work?

It can take up to 4 weeks before you notice a significant improvement from taking carbocisteine.

Carbocisteine capsules vs oral solution

Carbocisteine is available as capsules or an oral solution. The solution may come as a sachet which you mix yourself, or as a syrup. Carbocisteine capsules are most commonly prescribed, however, for people who have difficulties swallowing tablets, the oral solution or syrup may be more suitable.

Carbocisteine for bronchiectasis

Carbocisteine may be prescribed in bronchiectasis to help you clear the mucus from your lungs. 

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredient in carbocisteine tablets is carbocisteine 

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients contained in carbocisteine depend upon the type of carbocisteine you are taking i.e. capsules or a liquid solution. 

The inactive ingredients in carbocisteine capsules include: mannitol; maize starch;
croscarmellose sodium; sodium laurilsulfate, grade K12; colloidal anhydrous silica, magnesium stearate, gelatine; red iron oxide E172; titanium dioxide E171 and yellow iron oxide E172

Please note, these inactive ingredients may vary between different manufacturers.

Dosage

Carbocisteine dose

When you start taking carbocisteine you will start off on a higher dose, but as your condition improve, the dose will be reduced. Typically, the starting dose is two 375mg capsules taken three times a day. As your condition improves, your dose would be reduced to one 375mg capsule four times a day. However, this may vary, so if you are unsure, you should ask your doctor for clarification.

How many times a day should you take carbocisteine?

Carbocisteine is usually taken 3 or 4 times a day, but this depends upon the dose that is prescribed to you. If you are unsure when to take your carbocisteine, you should ask your doctor for clarification.

When should you take carbocisteine?

Carbocisteine is typically taken 3 or 4 times a day. Your doctor will let you know when to take carbocisteine.

Can carbocisteine capsules be opened?

You should avoid opening carbocisteine capsules, they are designed to be swallowed whole. If you have difficulty swallowing capsules, you may find that the oral suspension or syrup is more suitable for you.

Can I take carbocisteine on an empty stomach?

Carbocisteine can be taken with or without food. Some people choose to take carbocisteine at mealtimes to help them remember to take it.

Side Effects

What are the side effects of carbocisteine?

Carbocisteine side effects vary depending upon whether you are taking the oral solution or capsules. Capsules rarely produce side effects, however, the oral solution can cause diarrhoea or nausea. If you experience any of the following side effects after taking any form of carbocisteine you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • An allergic reaction - this could be a rash on your skin, swelling around your face and mouth or breathing difficulties. 
  • Bleeding from your stomach or intestine - you may notice this as black tar-like stools or blood in your vomit
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome - this is a serious skin condition characterised by blistering and bleeding of the skin, which may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms. 
  • include bleeding from the stomach or intestine, vomiting and skin reactions such as rashes or blistering. If you experience any of these symptoms after taking carbocisteine, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Carbocisteine when pregnant

The risk of carbocisteine in pregnancy is poorly understood. There is not currently any evidence to suggest that carbocisteine is safe or unsafe for pregnant women. For this reason, carbocisteine is not recommended for use during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. You should let your doctor know if there is a chance you may be pregnant or if you are planning to get pregnant.

Carbocisteine when breastfeeding

There is currently no evidence regarding the presence of carbocisteine in breast milk and the risks of taking carbocisteine whilst breastfeeding are not yet known. Therefore, carbocisteine is not recommended for breastfeeding women. 

Drug interactions

There are no known drug interactions with carbocisteine, however, it is not recommended for use if you are taking any other medications that increase your risk of bleeding from the stomach or bowels. You should always let the prescribing doctor know about any other medications you are taking.

Carbocisteine and ibuprofen

Carbocisteine is not known to interact with ibuprofen, however, it is advised that they are not taken together. Ibuprofen and other drugs in the same class (NSAIDs) such as naproxen, can increase the risk of ulcers forming in your stomach or small intestine. Carbocisteine may also make these organs more vulnerable to damage and ulceration. Therefore, it is recommended that these medications are avoided. However, your doctor will help you weigh up the risks and benefits and may also offer you other medications to reduce the risk to your stomach and intestines.

Carbocisteine with alcohol

You can drink alcohol when taking carbocisteine. As with all medication, it is recommended that you avoid drinking to excess as vomiting after taking carbocisteine may prevent it from being properly absorbed.

Carbocisteine with alcohol

You can drink alcohol when taking carbocisteine. As with all medication, it is recommended that you avoid drinking to excess as vomiting after taking carbocisteine may prevent it from being properly absorbed.

Contraindications to carbocisteine

Carbocisteine cannot be taken by anyone who is allergic to any of the ingredients contained in the medication, or people with active peptic ulcers (ulcers of the stomach or small intestine). Carbocisteine can cause problems in the elderly, those with a previous history of peptic ulcers or people currently taking medications that increase their risk of bleeding from the stomach or bowels. It is important that you let the prescribing doctor know if you have any health conditions, or take any medications. If you do experience any blood in your stool, or if you start vomiting blood, you should seek medical advice.

Why is carbocisteine contraindicated in peptic ulcer?

Carbocisteine is a mucolytic. This means that it breaks down mucus. It is designed to do this in the airways, however, it may have side effects in the gastrointestinal tract (oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and intestines). The gastrointestinal tract is protected by its own mucus. Therefore, if carbocisteine disrupts this protective mucus, the tissues may become more vulnerable to ulceration and bleeding.

Treatment Options

Alternatives to carbocisteine

Erdosteine is another mucolytic drug that works in a similar way to carbocisteine. It is usually only prescribed during an exacerbation of chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is a type of COPD that causes you to produce excess mucus and this increases your risk of chest infections that can exacerbate your COPD symptoms.

Q&A

Can carbocisteine cure a cough?

Carbocisteine is prescribed to people with chronic bronchitis (a type of COPD), bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis to help them clear mucus from their lungs. This mucus does cause a cough, so carbocisteine can reduce the cough, but it will not cure the underlying disease.

What is carbocisteine syrup?

Carbocisteine syrup is carbocisteine in a thick liquid form that you drink. It is particularly suited to people who struggle to swallow capsules.

Can you buy carbocisteine over the counter?

Carbocisteine is not available over the counter in the UK, it is only available on prescription.

How is carbocisteine absorbed?

Carbocisteine is absorbed into the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract.

Is carbocisteine a steroid?

Carbocisteine is not a steroid, it is a type of medication known as a mucolytic, which means that it works by breaking down mucus, making it easier to clear from your lungs.

Is carbocisteine an antibiotic?

Carbocisteine is not an antibiotic. Carbocisteine is a mucolytic medication, meaning that it breaks down mucus in the lungs. Carbocisteine is commonly prescribed to people who experience frequent chest infections as a result of their COPD.

Can you buy carbocisteine tablets?

Carbocisteine is not currently available in tablet form in the UK, but it is available as capsules. An oral suspension and syrup forms are also available for people who have difficulty swallowing carbocisteine capsules.

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