Ask the Pharmacist: NAC supplements going away soon

Suzy Cohen
Cysteine is a natural compound and N acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a dietary supplement.

N acetyl cysteine is an amino acid that is useful to you to make glutathione in your body. The glutathione is a potent liver antioxidant.

Cysteine is a natural compound and N acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a dietary supplement. That’s how you can find it in health food stores, as “NAC.” But you won’t find it for long, so if you want NAC, you should buy it now. It’s already virtually gone from Amazon!

There’s a disagreement between the Food and Drug Administration and the dietary supplement industry over how legal it is for dietary supplements to put this amino acid into their supplements. The NAC is also available by prescription. It is forcing Amazon and other selling platforms to take sides on the issue.

NAC has many health benefits. As a prescription drug sold as Mucomyst, it is used as the antidote for acetaminophen poisoning when people overdose on that analgesic. It’s used in the emergency room in hospitals nationwide. The prescription version will continue to remain available; I am only referring to the supplements getting banned.

As a popular health food store item, NAC has sold quite well for many other reasons. It’s useful as an antioxidant and non-prescription expectorant because it can loosen mucus in the air passageways. It makes breathing easier and more comfortable.   

NAC sold like hotcakes last year for obvious reasons during the pandemic! NAC is used for immune system health. Furthermore, NAC is used as a precursor nutrient for people who want to make more glutathione in their body which is useful as a liver protectant. Your own body makes glutathione in the liver, and again, cysteine (or NAC) is one precursor nutrient that is essential to making glutathione. 

NAC is in trouble now, and thousands of brands of NAC supplements (including my own Immune Script which contains NAC as part of the blend) has been instantly removed from Amazon with no notice! And over time, every single brand of NAC will be gone from the Amazon marketplace, and millions of you will be unable to buy it as a supplement.

This is your courtesy reminder to purchase NAC while it’s still available at your local health food store, or at your favorite online vitamin shop. I have some at my own shop left if you’re interested.

To learn about the medical benefits that NAC provides, just do a quick search on PubMed and you’ll see thousands of scientific studies! This is an important supplement and a bottle of it could stay fresh for several years in case you need it one day. If you’d like to receive updates about NAC, please sign up for my newsletter at 

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Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit