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Pharmacol Res. 2007 Apr;55(4):249-54. Epub 2006 Dec 28.

An overview of erdosteine antioxidant activity in experimental research.

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Clinica di Malattie dell'Apparato Respiratorio, Dipartimento di Oncologia, Ematologia e Patologie Apparato Respiratorio, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Policlinico, Largo del Pozzo 71, 41100 Modena, Italy.


Erdosteine was introduced in the market as a mucolytic agent for chronic pulmonary diseases more than 10 years ago. The drug contains two blocked sulphydryl groups one of which, after hepatic metabolization and opening of the thiolactone ring, becomes available both for the mucolytic and free radical scavenging and antioxidant activity too. There are several experimental evidences which support the protective effect of erdosteine in acute injury induced by a variety of pharmacological or noxious agents, mediated by products of oxidative stress. Experimental data in animal assigned to receive the noxious agent evidence that co-treatment with erdosteine increases the tissue antioxidant enzyme activities such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase, compared with the toxic agent alone; meanwhile erdosteine decreases the tissue level of nitric oxide, xanthine oxidase, which catalyze oxygen-free radical production. In summary, erdosteine prevents the accumulation of free oxygen radicals when their production is accelerated and increases antioxidant cellular protective mechanisms. The final result is a protective effect on tissues which reduces lipid peroxidation, neutrophil infiltration or cell apoptosis mediated by noxious agents. Recent positive clinical trials in humans seem to fulfill the impressive promises that theory and experimental research have put forward.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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