Impact of N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) on Tuberculosis (TB) Patients—A Systematic Review
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Sustained TB infection overproduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) as a host defense mechanism. Research shows ROS is destructive to lung tissue. Glutathione (GSH) neutralizes ROS, although it is consumed. NAC is a precursor of GSH synthesis, and administering an appropriate dose of NAC to patients with respiratory conditions may enhance lung recovery and replenish GSH. The present review searched for articles reporting on the effects of NAC in TB treatment from 1960 to 31 May 2022. The PICO search strategy was used in Google Scholar, PubMed, SciFinder, and Wiley online library databases. The COVIDENCE tool was used to delete inappropriate content. We eventually discovered five clinical trials, one case report, seven reviews, in vitro research, and four experimental animal studies from the twenty-four accepted articles. The use of NAC resulted in increased GSH levels, decreased treatment time, and was safe with minimal adverse events. However, the evidence is currently insufficient to estimate the overall effects of NAC, thus the study warrants more NAC clinical trials to demonstrate its effects in TB treatment.