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N-acetylcysteine Used to Decrease the Incidence of Contrast-Induced Nephropathy Following Radiographic Procedures: A Literature Review

Author(s):  McElhiney Linda F

Issue:  Mar/Apr 2005 - Health and Wellness
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Abstract:  Contrast medium–induced nephropathy (CIN) is a preventable complication of administration of radiocontrast agents used in procedures such as cardiac catheterization. Hydration with 0.45% sodium chloride solution is the current standard for preventing CIN. Oral N-acetylcysteine, along with hydration with 0.45% sodium chloride solution, is gaining acceptance nationwide as a promising preventive protocol for CIN. N-acetylcysteine is well tolerated by patients: no major side effects have been reported. Compounding pharmacists can play an important role in preventing CIN by compounding N-acetylcysteine into a palatable capsule form that will improve patient compliance and by counseling patients on the importance of keeping hydrated prior to contrast medium procedures.

Related Keywords: Linda F. McElhiney, PharmD, RPh, N-acetylcysteine, radiographic procedures, cardiac catheterization, contrast medium, contrast-induced nephropathy, hydration, renal failure, kidney failure

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