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Mucolytic agent

A mucolytic agent is any agent which dissolves thick mucus usually used to help relieve respiratory difficulties. (hydrolyzing glycosaminoglycans: tending to break down/lower the viscosity of mucin-containing body secretions/components). The viscosity of mucous secretions in the lungs is dependent upon the concentrations of mucoprotein, the presence of disulfide bonds between these macromolecules and DNA.

Additional recommended knowledge

Mucolytics: N-acetylcysteine: an aerosolized mucolytic agent often used as adjunctive therapy for pulmonary complications of cystic fibrosis (CF) in combination with vigorous chest physiotherapy. N-acetylcysteine acts to split the sulfide bonds in the macromolecules thereby decreasing viscosity, allowing for removal by normal chest physiology. The action of N-acetylcysteine is pH dependent. Mucolytic action is significant at ranges of pH 7-9.(1)

Natural Mucolytics:


  • Guaifenesin: increases volume and decreases viscosity of respiratory tract secretions. (Robitussin)

EXPECTORANTS should not be confused with a mucolytic. Expectorants increase mucous production.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mucolytic_agent". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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