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Does anyone have experience with NAC?

n-acetylcysteine

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#1 Now

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:43 AM


I am particularly interested in experiences in psychiatric disorders such as OCD, depression, bipolar disorder, autism and schizophrenia. The research results are promising, but I can't find a lot of experiences with N-acetylcysteine. Is this because of the potential lung and heart damage (pulmonary artery hypertension)?

Experiences (both positive and negative) are more than welcome. Thanks in advance!

#2 LeonardElijah

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:09 AM

When I researched it there was a speculative post to some scientific mailing list about how it competes with glutamate. The decrease in glutamate means less impulsive behavior, so there is less smoking, less gambling in people with gambling disorders, and less hair pulling.

I use it, but I keep the dose small to avoid the potential pulmonory issues.

Given the disorders it has been tested against (bipolar depression, OCD, etc), it's more about what you don't notice than what you do notice.

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#3 malden

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:15 AM

Ive taken it know for some 4 monts. I have accutane related depresion en the whole list of accutane side effects.
it helps a lot with mental problems/ depression just feeling cleaer en more room te relavate things than usual.

Another good thing is that it stays working in my case

Beside that i think boosting glutation is good fore overal healt
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#4 Now

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:52 AM

When I researched it there was a speculative post to some scientific mailing list about how it competes with glutamate. The decrease in glutamate means less impulsive behavior, so there is less smoking, less gambling in people with gambling disorders, and less hair pulling.

I use it, but I keep the dose small to avoid the potential pulmonory issues.

Given the disorders it has been tested against (bipolar depression, OCD, etc), it's more about what you don't notice than what you do notice.


Thank you!

What dose do you use and if I may ask, why do you use NAC? Is the effectiveness similar to other drugs such as SSRI's?

Ive taken it know for some 4 monts. I have accutane related depresion en the whole list of accutane side effects.
it helps a lot with mental problems/ depression just feeling cleaer en more room te relavate things than usual.

Another good thing is that it stays working in my case

Beside that i think boosting glutation is good fore overal healt


Bedankt Malden,

I'm sorry to hear that. Accutane seems to be dirty stuff.

I think that both increasing glutathione and modulation of NMDA glutamate receptors can be beneficial, but I'm hesitant because the present studies are inconclusive (effectiveness/safety) and I can't find many personal experiences.

#5 medievil

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:28 AM

Ive taken nac for some time; however it was in combination with other supplements so cant perfectly pinpoint its effect but it seemed to give me more energy; help my logical thinking (was predromal shizo) and help my OCD.

Its overall a excellent supplement with alot of health benefits; i recently posted this article on mind and muscle:

There is an expanding field of research investigating the benefits of alternatives to current pharmacological therapies in psychiatry.N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is emerging as a useful agent in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Like many therapies, the clinical origins
of NAC are far removed from its current use in psychiatry. Whereas the mechanisms of NAC are only beginning to be understood, it is
likely that NAC is exerting benefits beyond being a precursor to the antioxidant, glutathione, modulating glutamatergic, neurotropic and
inflammatory pathways. This review outlines the current literature regarding the use of NAC in disorders including addiction, compulsive
and grooming disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. N-acetylcysteine has shown promising results in populations with these disorders, including those in whom treatment efficacy has previously been limited. The therapeutic potential of this acetylated amino acid is
beginning to emerge in the field of psychiatric research.


Highly interesting paper on the therapeutic potential of nac:
http://www.cma.ca/multimedia/staticContent/HTML/N0/l2/jpn/vol-36/issue-2/pdf/pg78.pdf

#6 medievil

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:30 AM

Glutathione is a nmda agonist; nac also potentiates nmda by changing the rebox state; it also upregulates serotonine and GABA if im correct and one anecdotal report said it reversed some benzo tolerance; theoretically its a alternative to memantine for tolerance issues as it slows glutaminergic firing by raising glutamate wich in turn activates the mglur2/3 receptors wich slow firing.
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#7 LeonardElijah

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 06:21 PM

Thank you!

What dose do you use and if I may ask, why do you use NAC? Is the effectiveness similar to other drugs such as SSRI's?


When I researched it forwards and backwards, I wrote on the side of the bottle 1g-2g.
I use a little scooper that came with it and eyeball my dose. I bet it's about 500mg.

I don't like SSRIs.

It is effective by necessity. I think of it as having a guaranteed effect that is subtle. SRRIs on the other hand are a gamble, but for those who win the gamble the effect is pronounced.
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#8 jpar

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 08:06 PM

I was very interested in the research, and used 600mg twice a day in depression to allow more glutathione synthesis. It didn't have a noticeable effect on mood but made my cigarettes less enjoyable at the time. This was probably the glutamate effect, which is thought to be responsible for some improvement in hair-pulling as reported in the psych paper above. It didn't reduce the urge to smoke just the reward from the first one or two after the NAC.
I prefer to take lipoic acid as it regenerates glutathione as well as crossing the blood brain barrier and acting as an antioxidant in its own right, but doesn't have such safety concerns as NAC.
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#9 YanaRay

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:17 PM

I'm seriously interested in this supplement, if you just search "N-acetylcysteine" in PubMed you will get a huge selection of articles about various health benefits. I'm looking forward to more studies regarding its effect on drug craving, OCD, mood stability and neuroprotection. I only take 600mg a day, not every day, so it's 4 times less than the amount used in most studies (2400mg seems excessive, but, well, who knows?). It's hard to believe that someone would use a seriously dangerous substance in so many studies so I'm not really concerned about safety - it seems to be rather safe, though nobody knows what the effects might be in long term of course.

I've looked through so many papers and it seems like NAC has an overall, strong protective effect for the whole body including brain. It's also a very popular substance in research nowadays, so we may see more and more interesting results and - hopefully - something that will prove that NAC is safe or not to take as a daily supplement.
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#10 Quinn Dawson

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:58 AM

def getting some on the next order - curious about it

#11 Synaptik

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:51 AM

I tried NAC in late March and threw away the practically full bottle. I too was curious about he things I was reading about NAC, and since I'm in experimentation mode, I purchased some. I was disappointed with the results.

Firstly, the mind-feeling I had was ok, but it was kind of numbing (1G); neither here not there. I tried a couple combos with Tyrosine, ALA and ALCAR, but was not particular motivated, engaging or anything really. I've had better success using other combos. Secondly, I read shortly after that NAC is a relatively strong chelator, and I want nothing to do with chelation. I don't want to move any heavy-metal molecules in my body all throughout my system, and I believe NAC might bind to metals like mercury and move them in the brain. I simply don't need, or want to risk taking chelation products, which is why I rarely use ALA and only in minimum doses with ALCAR as an antioxidant.

But the final straw were this eye tremors I started having the second day after taking NAC. I'm particularly sensitive to this since I have a ocular implant in my left eye from a sports injury obtained nearly 20 years ago. I experienced bad tremors in my right (good eye), and I've never experienced this with any other supplement. After 2 days of this, I stopped the NAC since I suspected it was stripping (binding) my retina of zinc which the eye needed - the chelation effect. After a couple weeks I decided to try 1 500MG capsule of NAC and the eye tremors started again a couple hours later. That was it for me.

Anyway, that's my experience.

Edited by Synaptik, 24 April 2012 - 02:52 AM.


#12 YanaRay

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:33 AM

There's something definitely going on between NAC and the eye and that was actually one of the first effects I noticed. Maybe 30-45 mins after I take it I experience increased sensitivity to bright light and contrast enhancement, colours seem brighter as well. Maybe after 2-3 hours the effect wears off gradually. First I didn't like it as it reminded me of times when I was pregnant and got hyperventilated easily - then light and colours seemed to hit my eyes, that was on the verge of painful. Fortunately, now the effect is milder and gives an impression of better eyesight (I'm slightly myopic and that is just an impression) and... I don't know, like a better focus on things I see. Additionally, seems like my eye lubrication is better, I need to search for some papers about NAC and eyes as that is a noticeable effect.
I'm quite sure more NAC would be too much for my eyes.

#13 malden

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:18 AM

Personaly ive got the feeling that its safe,feeling great on it. (yeah in know its not scientific)

If somebody want to know more about the safety profile/ meschanism of action. Take a look at the n acetyl cysteine COPD studies, its a prescribed medicine for that condition here in the netherlands. there is some good research to find aka long term follow up

http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC2706612/ The role for N-acetylcysteine in the management of COPD

#14 nooToon

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:38 AM

I tried it for about 3 months a couple of years ago for depression,

Although it didn't do anything initially I had terrible CFS and fibromyalgia which caused the depression.... So after taking my attack dose for a week or two I noticed the pain was greatly reduced, probably due to more Glutathione being produced , anyway it helped for that, and as a result the depression lessened....

I still take it sometimes if I feel a little edgy or nervous, sometimes I really notice a difference other times not...

just my experience :)
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#15 Now

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:15 AM

Thanks everyone for your interesting posts!

I hope that we can expect more research results about the effectiveness and (long term) safety of N-acetylcysteine soon.

#16 manic_racetam

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:35 PM

I was totally caught off guard by the effects of NAC on energy levels. I had no idea it would boost energy so dramatically. 500mg gives me a wonderful boost that lasts through most of the day. I tried consistent dosing of 500mg BID for a course of 3 weeks and noticed clearer and thinner mucous with a more productive cough as well (back when I was smoking heavily).

Need to restock my supply.
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#17 medievil

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 11:07 AM

Keep the reply's coming guys; im planning to go back on nac; overall great sup.

#18 medievil

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:48 PM

After being supplement free for a while i restarted nac yesterday; so far it seems to immensively help with "motivational thinking" not in the way of doing tasks but in the way of avoiding things like being junkfood when out when i should save the money; in general i seem to manage my money alot better and dont throw it out of the windows.

Its still early; ill make a better post with my observations after ive given it some time.

I also take 4 gram of phenibut a day (this should be avoided for most as its physically addictive) and use stimulants for my ADHD; anhedonia and social anxiety.

I take 2600mg a day in 4 doses spread over the day.

I also suspect nac like memantine will help with tolerance as it slows glutaminergic firing; there's one anecdote of it reversing benzo tolerance.

Edited by medievil, 05 May 2012 - 04:50 PM.


#19 medievil

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:53 PM

Glutathione is a nmda agonist; nac also potentiates nmda by changing the rebox state; it also upregulates serotonine and GABA if im correct and one anecdotal report said it reversed some benzo tolerance; theoretically its a alternative to memantine for tolerance issues as it slows glutaminergic firing by raising glutamate wich in turn activates the mglur2/3 receptors wich slow firing.

I should add that it also acts as a AMPA agonist wich contributes to its antidepressant property's.

There also are concerns of it downregulating the endogenious antioxidant systems therefor its recommend to cycle it with curcumin wich actually thrives on low glutathione.

Edited by medievil, 05 May 2012 - 04:56 PM.


#20 hippocampus

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:53 AM

can you explain this: "curcumin wich actually thrives on low glutathione."?

#21 medievil

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:59 AM

can you explain this: "curcumin wich actually thrives on low glutathione."?

Ill have to dig up the paper again but it looks like curcumin works alot better in low glutathione conditions with gluthathione blocking alot of its effects.

#22 Limburger

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:06 PM

I have cycled it in and out of my daily nootropic stack over the last three months, and for me I think it's a keeper.

Issues: mild depression (amotivation, low energy levels, low mood, low energy) with concomitant decrease in cognitive function (diminished speed of thought processes, long term memory deficits, impaired consolidation of short term memories). I'm male, 30yo, 130lbs, white, and otherwise healthy.

Supplements that have provided improvements: noopept, SAMe (no longer used), caffeine, coenzymated sublingual b-vitamins, bacopa (no longer used), sundry 5HT-2a receptor site agonists.

I seem to respond well to supplements that modulate glutamatergic activity at NMDA and/or AMPA. For that reason, it's not surprising that I find that n-acetylcysteine complements noopept. I also generally do well with dopamine agonists, at least in the short term.

Dose: 365mg before breakfast with 20mg noopept (and currently 500mg trimethylglycine)

Regimen: I cycle my supplementation of NAC weekly: 5 days on, two days off.

Positives: I have more energy, motivation, focus, and mental acuity. It really knocks the dust off my reduced thought process speed and diminished focus and motivation.

Neutral: It suppresses my appetite and increases my libido, which I do not enjoy. Taken later in the day, it can result in vivid dreams.

Negatives: I can have too much focus and mental acuity, resulting in very mild impatience or irritation. I can only take it in the morning or I can't sleep. Can cause muscular tension (and subsequent tension headaches), jaw clenching, and hypomania in high doses. As with SAMe (s-adenosylmethionine), I can't imagine using it at the recommended therapeutic dosage. May also cause dry mouth or increased thirst.

#23 brainslugged

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:17 PM

I talked to a woman once who found it very useful in controlling maladaptive daydreaming. She insisted that it was not placebo, as she had tried a plethora of other substances to no avail.

#24 YanaRay

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:23 AM

It's one of my favourites, but I only take it during periods of brain "fuzziness" - it brings the focus back to a point and makes the perception of colour/contrast much more intense (soemtimes too much). Also, the thoughts don't seem to run like crazy in my head after maybe only 4 days of taking it in the morning. It's like a thought disciplining pill :)
It can be heavy on the stomach though... and pay attention to mucus thinning action as well (well you don't need mucus in the lungs but at least for me it makes sex feel different... and remember the stomach again as well). It can also produce something like a "concentration headache" in the forehead and behind the eyes, like too much mental/visual focus.Some people take 600mg three times a day (lung problems, on prescription) but I'd advise just one in the morning after food, 5 days on, 2 off until the effect is achieved. I'm also following the studies about NAC and depression/addiction etc. and I'm quite excited about them. It's just the daily doses in these studies that are... well, rather excessive if you ask me.

#25 medievil

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:35 AM

Thread reminded me to take my nac, still fond of it generally but its overall good for the body, take several things cant really say what it does.

#26 Anewlife

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 02:35 AM

There's something definitely going on between NAC and the eye and that was actually one of the first effects I noticed. Maybe 30-45 mins after I take it I experience increased sensitivity to bright light and contrast enhancement, colours seem brighter as well


I am noticing this too but not sure if its placebo because I only started taking NAC after reading this thread. Colors do seem more vivid. And more contrast.

Edited by Anewlife, 15 June 2013 - 02:38 AM.


#27 penisbreath

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 09:58 AM

no one ever experienced respiratory depression? i gave it multiple 1-2 week trials, but breathing became shallower and more labored every time, most notable during physical exertion ..

not sure if changing brand might help, i think i tried 2 different brands

#28 Babychris

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 07:29 PM

On of the rare supps I can take and git it 100% of my confidence.

Since I've tried almost everything whithout real approvement I suspect myself (or the other one) to have a mild skyzophrenia. When I take Nac I feel a mild but clear improvement of my general well being.

I'm looking to go on larger dose maybe more than 2g a day but I'm not sure of how much is safe for a 20 y young male

#29 BLimitless

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 10:54 PM

I take it once in a while with large doses (like 6-15g in one go) on really heavy nights in conjunction with lots of wheatgrass & chlorella. It rejuvenates the body and flushes alcohol/substance related malaise from the system when backed up by other antioxidants such as Vit C.


When I use it as part of a stack, the dose ranges from 6g every few days to 3g every day. It feels brilliant and helps remove the glaze of depersonalisation from one's sight, rendering it clean, clear and lustrous. Excellent with coconut oil; that being by the the best combo for eliminating brain fog I have found.

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#30 Cazorp

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:03 PM

makes me feel worse...don't put this snake-oil into your body
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