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Erdosteine capsules


Erdosteine capsules help to make it easier to cough up sputum.

Take one capsule twice daily.

The most common side-effect is heartburn (acid reflux).

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About erdosteine

Type of medicine

A mucolytic

Used for

To help clear sputum in adults with chronic bronchitis

Also called


Available as


Mucolytic medicines, such as erdosteine, can be helpful to treat the symptoms of acute flare-ups in chronic bronchitis. Erdosteine works by making mucus (phlegm) less thick and sticky, and therefore easier to cough up.

Before taking erdosteine

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking erdosteine it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you have ever had a stomach (peptic) ulcer.

  • If you have problems with the way your kidneys work, or with the way your liver works.

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.

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How to take erdosteine capsules

  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about erdosteine and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.

  • Take erdosteine capsules exactly as your doctor tells you to. The usual dose is one capsule twice daily, for up to 10 days. Your dose will be printed on the label of the pack to remind you.

  • Swallow the capsule whole with a drink of water. It is not important whether you take your dose before or after food.

  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the forgotten dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.

  • People with respiratory problems who exercise regularly tend to have improved breathing. Taking a daily walk is a good start if you are not used to exercise. Try to increase the level of your activity over time if you are able.

  • If you are overweight it can make breathlessness worse. Ask a dietician to give you advice on healthy eating and how to lose weight.

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Can erdosteine cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the ones associated with erdosteine. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Erdosteine side-effects - these affect fewer than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine

What can I do if I experience this?

Feeling sick (nausea), diarrhoea, tummy (abdominal) pain, heartburn, indigestion

Stick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy food

Headache, common cold symptoms

Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the symptoms continue, speak with your doctor

Unusual taste, itchy skin rash

If troublesome, speak with your doctor

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store erdosteine

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.

  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Important information about all medicines

Important information about all medicines

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking erdosteine.

If you buy any medicines, check with your doctor or a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take with your other medicines.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Report side effects to a medicine or vaccine

If you experience side effects, you can report them online through the Yellow Card website.

Further reading and references

Article history

The information on this page is written and peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

  • Next review due: 27 Dec 2025
  • 28 Dec 2022 | Latest version

    Last updated by

    Michael Stewart, MRPharmS

    Peer reviewed by

    Sid Dajani
  • 18 Dec 2013 | Originally published

    Authored by:

    Helen Allen
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