This post contains affiliate links.
I Have Been Taking N-acetylcysteine (NAC) for Trichotillomania for 10 Weeks
I am not a doctor, I am a blogger.
I am not a medical professional, I’m a person telling you about her experience and you should consult your doctor for medical advice.
NAC is an amino acid supplement that has been known to help with trichotillomania.
I have been taking NAC now for a few months and I FINALLY feel like I can give you a review of this product for trichotillomania.
NAC doesn’t seem to work for everyone for whatever reason and there are people who shouldn’t take it at all.
I purchased some of this because I had read so many success stories of people using it and it taking away the urge to pull.
The published medical studies (PubMed) on NAC and trichotillomania looked promising to me and I went for it.
How Much NAC To Take For Trichotillomania
At first I was taking what was recommended on the bottle (1200mg) because in the studies done on others with trichotillomania, the dosage of NAC varied considerably.
I’m taking 2400 mg (per day) but in medical studies the dosage varied from 1200-2400 mg.
I was taking 1200 mg for a few weeks but I wasn’t feeling anything so I doubled the dosage on the bottle and began taking 2400 mg.
A couple weeks later I could tell there was a reduction in my urge to pull, a significant one.
My NAC Regimen Looks Like This:
I’ve had to tweak it a bit because I found out I needed a lot more vitamin C than I was taking.
WATER INTAKE is important! 💧💧
I am making sure that I drink 8 glasses of water a day!
Water is what pushes these supplements through the bloodstream and makes them effective.
You can make drinking water more exciting by getting one of those cups that has time markers on the side.
How Fast Does NAC Work?
I could tell by around 9 weeks that something was working. My urges were significantly reduced.
I know because most of my hair pulling urges happen at night when I’m tired and I felt the difference.
It’s not all unicorns and rainbows, there are a few down sides to taking this supplement.
Nothing major but definitely things I would have liked to know.
NAC Side Effects
I got a stomach ache when I upped the dosage to 2400mg.
I had shits of fire I would call it. 🔥🔥 I had an inferno on my butt hole the first two days but I decided to stick it out and that stopped.
I no longer have tummy troubles at all.
I used to take it with food but now I feel like that doesn’t matter.
But there was definitely tummy issues there for awhile for whatever reason.
I do take apple cider vinegar and I really believe that helps a lot when it comes to balancing the acidity in my body, I thought that was worth mentioning because that probably aided helping my stomach settle with this supplement.
Vitamins for NAC
I have been pairing NAC with vitamin C as recommended.
You need the Vitamin C to prevent oxidation which can cause kidney stones.
I read that that you need just as much vitamin C as NAC! 😮
That’s a lot of Vitamin C, right?
What I have been doing is taking vitamin C supplements and I’m drinking a 16 oz glass of raw vegetable/fruit smoothie each day.
I make the raw juice in a nutri bullet.
It’s pretty easy to do and its good for hair growth and overall health if you can stand the taste.
Kale is one of my favorite things to put in the smoothie because it’s loaded with vitamin C and the only way I can stand raw kale is if it’s pulverized in a smoothie. 😜
I’m not really worried too much about oxidation because I take apple cider vinegar every day and that’s powerful against kidney stones.
How To Know If NAC Is Working
I kept track of how much nac I was taking and noted the side effects.
I was also tracking other things like my diet and pulling patterns.
A journal is really helpful for keeping track of progress when taking supplements like NAC to know if they are working or not.
I knew after about 10 weeks that NAC was working for me, I had some trouble in the beginning staying consistent but now I am taking it regularly (1200mg 2 times a day).
I take the NOW brand, but I really don’t think which brand you take matters?
I read this review of a woman on Amazon who swears NAC cured her son and she used the Swanson brand.
Take whichever brand you want, but keep track of how you’re doing in some sort of journal so that you know if it is helping you.
Do I Have To Take NAC For Trichotillomania Forever?
If I stop taking NAC for any length of time, I know it, the urges do come back so it’s something that has to be on hand at all time now.
I can’t leave somewhere and forget to pack it for the weekend because I do notice the difference.
Do I have to take it the rest of my life?
I don’t know.
I read a review on Amazon and this woman said she thinks she has to take it the rest of her life, but she never updated again.
But wait, there’s more..
This lady here, she updated again a couple times and said her son was able to stop taking it after NAC helped him stop.
You can read her full review here.
NAC is inexpensive, even if I did have to take it forever but I will keep you updated if anything changes.
Hi Lesley, I just discovered your blog and I really appreciate it exists! When I was very young dealing with trich, I swear NO ONE was mentioning trich on blogs or youtube. It’s awesome meeting people who are comfortable talking about it in public! I tried NAC when I was in my early 20s but couldn’t commit to taking it everyday. I want to try again now, but I have two questions for you. Does taking Vitamin C in the evening keep you up? I know Vitamin C is an energy booster (ex. Emergen-C packets) and I wouldn’t want it to keep me up. Also, are you taking your NAC with any prescribed meds to treat trich? Thanks!
You know I haven’t had an issue with energy late at night but I do get up to pee because of the large glass of water it takes to get it down. 🙂
Hello Lesley I am a parent of a 17yr old who tends to pull when she is stressed. Her Psychologist has suggested NAC but did not give me a brand nor any other info other than 1200 per day. So I’ve been in touch with a herbalist who has recommended a combination of Activated B or Methylation Factors , plus Liposomal Glutathione and EMP @4 per day. That’s a lot of tablets! I want to find something that will be effective but really don’t know what’s best. This is all foreign to me as I’m not up on all of this. I really don’t know what route I should suggest my child tries. Any suggestions. She has OCD, anxiety and ADHD which she already takes prescription meds for.
I don’t ever add a bunch of stuff at once to my regimn because how do you know what’s working, what’s not and which side effects are coming from where? You know what I mean? I’m sure you doctor means well but I would not personally throw all that into the mix. NAC does need to be paired with Vitamin C but I would consider taking the NAC for 12 weeks first, and do it religiously, don’t miss any and then see how she’s feeling before considering adding something else. I am not a doctor, I’m a blogger but that’s what I would do.
I would keep a diary of certain things if she is open it to it. Foods she ate, moods she felt, medicines she took, etc.
Here is a very helpful link for parents
This is a support group on Facebook just for parents.