Acetylcysteine has been used to treat acetaminophen overdose for nearly 50 years. While no placebo controlled trials have been conducted, the efficacy of acetylcysteine is accepted for the prevention of hepatic injury when administered early after acetaminophen overdose. Acetylcysteine can be administered as an infusion or oral solution. The duration of treatment varies from 21 to 72 hours, depending on the protocol. Acetylcysteine also prevents death when administered to patients with hepatic failure from acetaminophen.