Erdosteine was discovered and developed in Italy at Recipharm facility in Paderno Dugnano (Milan).
It is indicated for the treatment of acute and chronic respiratory diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is today the third cause of death worldwide.

Pharmacological action

Erdosteine is a mucolitic drug developed for treatment of acute and chronic bronchopulmonary diseases associated with abnormal mucus production and transport (URTI and LRTI), COPD and chronic bronchitis, including their acute exacerbations on an infective basis. Erdosteine is a prodrug activated after first-pass metabolism in the liver. For this reason erdosteine has no direct effect on gastric mucus and has a placebo-like safety profile.

Pharmaceutical properties

Erdosteine is much more than a mucolitic drug; in fact is is a unique combination of four activities:
muco-modulatory activity: it improves mucociliary transport, sputum viscosity and mucus elasticity and reduces the sputum volume.
antioxidant activity: it reduces the levels of oxidative stress biomarkers and free radicals and increases the level of the endogenous antioxidant glutathione.
anti-inflammatory activity: it inhibits the release of inflammatory mediators and exerts a significant reduction in the levels of inflammatory markers.
antibiotic enhancer activity: it increases the antibiotic penetration into bacterial biofilms and potentiates the anti-adhesion effect of antibiotics.


Co-administration of erdosteine with antibiotics does not interfere with the action of the drug, unlike other compounds with similar therapeutic indications. Clinical findings also demonstrated that erdosteine has good gastric tolerability after oral administration, and does not cause reflux phenomena like other drugs containing thiol groups.

Available formulations

Formulations of erdosteine-based medicinal products, developed and differently approved in different countries, include:
capsules 300 mg;
sachets 225 mg (granules for oral suspension, granules for oral solution, single dose);
dry syrup (powder for oral suspension) 3.5%;
dispersible tablets 300 mg.

* not all formulations are available in every country

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