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Reolin – A winter wonder drug

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Reolin is a wonder drug that can help you if you are afflicted with the common winter woes brought on by heavy accumulation of mucus resulting in respiratory tract disorders. The common cold, chesty coughs, seasonal allergy symptoms and asthma can make life uncomfortable and potentially lead to more serious conditions like bronchitis and pneumonia.

Reolin contains n-acetylcysteine (NAC), a substance that belongs to the group of mucolytic drugs, which dilute the viscosity of phlegm and sputum, soften them and facilitate their evacuation from the respiratory tract. 

Mucolytics work to break down mucus to aid high-risk respiratory patients in coughing up thick, tenacious secretions. They work differently from expectorants, which liquefy the lower respiratory tract secretions and are used for the symptomatic relief of respiratory conditions characterized by a dry, nonproductive cough. 

N-acetylcysteine is only available from pharmacies in the US as an injectable drug. However, in Israel it is also available as an oral effervescent pill and your healthcare provider can prescribe it in this format.

NAC is not a dietary supplement!

There has been considerable controversy over the inclusion of n-acetylcysteine in over-the-counter dietary supplements. The FDA has made it clear that at the moment, n-acetylcysteine is an approved drug that can only be sold by pharmacies and only dispensed with a valid prescription. This position is currently under review by the Federal government. We will keep monitoring this situation and update you if it changes. Until this happens, remember that supplements claiming to contain NAC should not be used in place of prescription products.

What are the main uses of Reolin?

The primary use of Reolin is in the treatment of upper respiratory tract conditions, including:

  • Influenza or other viral infections leading to inflammation of the main airways in the lung (bronchitis). Administering Reolin oral tablets can reduce shortness of breath and coughing. Taking NAC for longer periods (up to 36 months) can also prevent flare-ups in people who are particularly vulnerable to infections
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease caused by chronic inflammation that causes obstruction to airflow into the lungs . NAC can be taken both as a treatment for acute bouts of COPD, and as a preventative measure by mouth for at least 6 months in people with moderate to severe COPD
  • Chronic asthma.

What are the off-label uses of Reolin?

Reolin has been proven to be effective in treating a number of other conditions and can be prescribed as an off-label medication. Off-label prescription of drugs is widely used  and is entirely legitimate and legal. About one in every five prescriptions written in the US is for off-label use.

Ultimately, your healthcare providers decide what is best for you. They can prescribe any drug, whether or not it is labeled as intended for that specific use by the FDA. Once the FDA approves a drug, healthcare providers generally may prescribe the drug for an unapproved use when they judge that it is medically appropriate for their patient.

  • NAC can be used for people with poor kidney function as a preventative measure against kidney damage caused by contrast dyes used during some X-ray exams. It can also prevent problems such as heart attack and stroke in people with kidney failure
  • People with hyperhomocysteinemia (high levels of homocysteine in the blood) face an elevated risk of heart disease. NAC administered orally can reduce homocysteine levels
  • People with elevated levels of cholesterol or other fats (hyperlipidemia) can reduce levels of lipoprotein(a) with dosages of Reolin
  • Taking NAC can help prevent side effects of the cancer drug ifosfamide. 

What are the possible side effects of Reolin?

All medications can cause side effects. The most common side effects include a runny nose, nausea and heartburn or vomiting. These should clear up within a few days. If they persist or get worse, you should discuss it with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Serious side effects include breathing disturbances, bloody sputum, fever, vomiting, and skin rashes. If you experience these then stop taking the medication and consult your doctor immediately.

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