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Nebulized Glutathione

Medically Reviewed Fact Checked
Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

The importance of which chemical compounds you take into your body cannot be overstated. While the body and brain create a host of endogenous compounds — those that originate in the body — the even larger number you take in can have an astounding effect on the processes your cells must complete for survival. Whether via food and drink, medications, illicit drugs, or even environmental pollution, your body and brain are exposed to a wide variety of chemical compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, as well as toxins.

Exposure to hazardous compounds from the air, drinking water, pharmaceutical medications, cleaning products, and especially cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs can worsen oxidative stress on cells, speed cell death, and reduce the body’s ability to produce the compounds you need to complete essential brain and body processes. Without these key compounds, the brain and body can become increasingly toxic, losing the ability to self-regulate and leading to a variety of physical and mental health disorders.

Learn how nebulized glutathione treatments at Alternative to Meds Center can help you restore neurochemical balance and address disorders like anxiety, depression and other mood disorders, PTSD, and even substance use disorder (SUD).

What Is Glutathione?

Antioxidants are a group of substances that work to protect the body from a process called oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that occurs in the body due to several normal processes but is worsened when the body is exposed to toxins like cigarette smoke, drugs, pollutants, and even prescription medications. The introduction of these toxins can lead to complex chemical reactions that create unstable atoms known as free radicals. The chain reaction begun by free radicals causes cell damage that can lead to early cell death, reduced function, and the loss of the brain and body’s ability to achieve the proper chemical balance. This, in turn, can cause both physical and mental health issues.1

As a master antioxidant, glutathione is integral to the function of other antioxidants like CoQ10, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Glutathione is considered an essential part of the body’s antioxidant protection. The absence of glutathione is often connected with increased oxidative stress on the body, an imbalance between the potential for cell damage and the body’s ability to protect against it. Reduced glutathione and the loss of the protection it and other antioxidants provide can leave cells vulnerable to damage by free radicals, heavy metals, reactive oxygen, and more. Oxidative damage to the cells of the brain can reduce the brain’s capacity to produce essential neurotransmitters. This, in turn, has been linked to psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and even schizophrenia.2

Glutathione and Mental Health

Glutathione and Mental Health

The brain’s ability to stabilize its own neurochemistry and prevent oxidative damage is critical to your mental health. Oxidative damage can diminish your energy supply and inhibit brain function. Meanwhile, critical swings in neurochemicals can result in stress, low mood, and more. As mentioned, low glutathione levels have been noted in many mental health disorders. Many benefits of glutathione have been studied in clinical trials.3,6,8-15

Beneficial health effects of glutathione may include:
  • improved lung health
  • increased oxygen availability
  • protection against oxidative stress
  • helps reverse and repair liver damage
  • regulates insulin
  • improves motor/cognitive brain function
  • reduces inflammation associated with bowel disorders
  • helps regulate and restore the immune system
  • relieves stiffness and numbness associated with artery diseases
  • helps reduce symptoms associated with autism, Parkinsonism, and other neurological disorders

Supplementing glutathione can help restore antioxidant protection. As a result, the brain and body can do a better job of producing the enzymes and neurotransmitters critical to eliminating disorders and restoring neurochemical balance. Research shows that nebulized glutathione treatment at Alternative to Meds Center can be effective in addressing anxiety- and stress-related disorders, including PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and more.

Could Your Prescription Meds Be Causing Oxidative Stress?

We’ve mentioned that a reduction in antioxidant levels, including glutathione levels, correlates to anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric issues. Even more concerning is the fact that the very medications prescribed to treat these mental health disorders can cause oxidative stress themselves. For example, a study demonstrated that two common antidepressants, fluoxetine (brand name Prozac©) and sertraline (brand name Zoloft©) increased levels of oxidation. 4

While antipsychotics are another type of drug known to cause oxidative stress, psychiatric drugs are far from the only drug class with this negative effect. For example, anti-inflammatory drugs can cause oxidation that leads to toxicity in the kidneys and liver. Antiretrovirals, anthracyclines, antineoplastics, and even pain relievers can cause a variety of oxidation-related toxicities.5

This is a primary reason we recommend nebulized glutathione at Alternative to Meds Center. Many of our patients have been exposed to prescription medications to treat both mental and physical ailments, and those medications often create more issues within the body and brain than they treat. Glutathione treatment is a way to aid in the detoxification process necessary after prescription drug use.

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Why Is Nebulized Glutathione Ideal?

Nebulized Glutathione for Medication Detox

Glutathione acts as the primary defensive line combating oxidative stress. These infiltrating stressors can include anything from smoke, pollutants, and illicit drugs to viral and bacterial invaders and the prescription medications given to treat a variety of medical conditions. That’s why maintaining the correct amount of glutathione in the body is key to keeping potentially harmful compounds from affecting cells throughout the body.

While it is possible to take glutathione supplements orally, or even inject glutathione precursors directly into the bloodstream, nebulized glutathione is the preferred method of treatment for many people. Nebulized glutathione is significantly more effective than glutathione administered via IV, as it does not need to be metabolized first and thus appears to be more readily accessible to the central nervous system. 6 Aerosol intake enables glutathione to enter the bloodstream via the lungs, providing a localized and direct approach. Better yet, no needles are necessary, so this particular method is useful for persons who have poor veins and cannot complete IV treatment.

Glutathione FAQs

What Are the Other Health Benefits of Glutathione?

While the primary benefit of glutathione treatment at Alternative to Meds Center is the ability to address symptoms of mental health conditions 7 and the damage caused by prescription medications, glutathione has other benefits, as well. Glutathione may also prevent cell damage that occurs via oxidation and disease processes in a number of different sites throughout the body. Consider these conditions that may be addressed with glutathione:

  • Lung Issues – Research shows that the introduction of glutathione solution may improve lung conditions, allowing some patients the ability to move away from oxygen tanks and gain increased mobility. In these circumstances, patients also reported improved general health and easier breathing when taking a daily dosage of glutathione.8 If you are experiencing pulmonary health issues, nebulized glutathione treatments at Alternative to Meds Center could improve lung function and overall health.
  • Liver Disease — Because the liver’s role is to ensure proper metabolism while detoxing the body, it is subject to damage from every inbound toxin you are exposed to. The liver defends itself against dangerous oxidative reactions via the cellular production of glutathione, and glutathione intake can be an essential treatment for liver disease. 9
  • Diabetes – As an antioxidant, glutathione is believed to assist with oxidative stress during episodes of high blood sugar and hyperglycemia, providing a better environment for insulin distribution. Maintaining higher levels of glutathione could also reduce the body’s resistance to insulin.
  • Parkinson’s Disease – The brain is one of the least significant producers of glutathione in the body, but it needs the antioxidant to maintain neurochemical balance and inhibit cell death. Increasing glutathione intake in the earliest stages of Parkinson’s disease could be a key way to improve patient motor function and cognitive capabilities.10
  • IBS and UC – Glutathione can provide a counter to the oxidative stress associated with gastrointestinal issues like ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease. When the bowels are inflamed during an IBS or UC episode, it is unable to produce antioxidants, and glutathione can play a vital role in reducing inflammation and improving cellular function. 11
  • Autoimmune Diseases – Autoimmune diseases occur when cells are hyperactive, causing over-inflammation when conditions do not warrant it. Glutathione may help restore the chemical balance in the immune system, allowing cells the antioxidants they need to perform properly when fighting off an infection or recovering from injury or disease. 12
  • Peripheral Artery Disease – Patients with peripheral artery disease often experience stiffness, numbness, and muscle cramps due to decreased blood flow. Glutathione treatments can ensure antioxidants still travel throughout the body despite decreased blood flow and may even help restore blood flow, reducing pain and increasing mobility. 13
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders – Recent research has connected the impact of oxidative stress and reduced glutathione to the pathology of autism. This suggests that an increase in glutathione may help to address some of the symptoms of the disorder.14
  • Athletic Performance – Increased glutathione in the body system may be an asset to athletes, with an improved number of molecules that react more positively to nitrogen and oxygen. The reduction of harmful oxidative effects on the lungs via nebulized glutathione intake may also naturally enhance an athlete’s capabilities.

How Often Should I Use Nebulized Glutathione?

The frequency of glutathione treatments will depend on the severity of the condition being treated, metabolism, and other unique variables. For example, while severe, chronic lung issues require daily treatments, mental health disorders, and drug toxicities may warrant weekly treatments. Ask a treatment professional how often you should expect to undergo nebulized glutathione treatment.

What Are the Side Effects of Nebulized Glutathione?

While there are a few potential side effects to nebulized glutathione, the majority are mild. Some patients may experience a mild cough after use. In some cases, the patient may notice an unpleasant odor during the treatment. Those with asthma might have a more difficult time with nebulized glutathione treatments due to a potential sensitivity to sulfite. In these cases, patients could experience a rough cough as well as breathlessness.

How Do I Use Nebulized Glutathione?

To use nebulized glutathione at Alternative to Meds Center, you will need to place the masking equipment over the nose and mouth. Then, you’ll simply need to breathe deeply and inhale the mist provided. After treatment is over, your treatment provider will clean the masking equipment thoroughly and reserve it for your next use.

Where Can I Find Nebulized Glutathione?

While you can purchase glutathione over the counter at most US pharmacies as an oral dietary supplement, you will need to find a specialist to conduct nebulized glutathione treatments. Alternative to Meds Center is pleased to offer nebulized glutathione for a host of physical and mental health conditions. There is a lot to learn about how to support mental wellness through such therapies. We are always available to assist families and individuals who are gathering information in preparation for selecting the right program.

Nebulized Glutathione Treatment at Alternative To Meds Center

Glutathione is an integral part of effective body detoxification, especially after long-term exposure to prescription medications. Raising glutathione levels during detoxification can contribute to stabilizing the imbalanced neurochemistry and poor regulation that can result in anxiety, depression, addiction, psychosis, or other mental health problems.

Glutathione is an important component of the holistic mental health and substance use disorder treatment we provide at Alternative to Meds Center.

Nebulized Glutathione Treatment


1. Sharifi-Rad, M., Anil Kumar, N. V., Zucca, P., Varoni, E. M., Dini, L., Panzarini, E., … & Sharifi-Rad, J. (2020). Lifestyle, oxidative stress, and antioxidants: back and forth in the pathophysiology of chronic diseases. Frontiers in physiology, 11, 694. [cited 2023 June 22]

2.Salim S. (2014). Oxidative stress and psychological disorders. Current neuropharmacology, 12(2), 140–147.  [cited 2023 June 22]

3. Schulz JB, Lindenau J, Seyfried J, Dichgans J. Glutathione, oxidative stress and neurodegeneration. Eur J Biochem. 2000 Aug;267(16):4904-11. doi: 10.1046/j.1432-1327.2000.01595.x. PMID: 10931172.  [cited 2023 June 22]

4. Byeon, E., Park, J. C., Hagiwara, A., Han, J., & Lee, J. S. (2020). Two antidepressants fluoxetine and sertraline cause growth retardation and oxidative stress in the marine rotifer Brachionus koreanus. Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 218, 105337.  [cited 2023 June 22]

5. Deavall, D. G., Martin, E. A., Horner, J. M., & Roberts, R. (2012). Drug-induced oxidative stress and toxicity. Journal of toxicology, 2012, 645460.  [cited 2023 June 22]

6. Lana, J. F. S. D., Lana, A. V. S. D., Rodrigues, Q. S., Santos, G. S., Navani, R., Navani, A., da Fonseca, L. F., Azzini, G. O. M., Setti, T., Mosaner, T., Simplicio, C. L., & Setti, T. M. (2021). Nebulization of glutathione and N-Acetylcysteine as an adjuvant therapy for COVID-19 onset. Advances in redox research : an official journal of the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine and the Society for Free Radical Research-Europe, 3, 100015. [cited 2023 June 22]

7. Zalachoras, I., Hollis, F., Ramos-Fernández, E., Trovo, L., Sonnay, S., Geiser, E., Preitner, N., Steiner, P., Sandi, C., & Morató, L. (2020). Therapeutic potential of glutathione-enhancers in stress-related psychopathologies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 114, 134-155.  [cited 2023 June 22]

8. Prousky, J. (2008). The treatment of pulmonary diseases and respiratory-related conditions with inhaled (nebulized or aerosolized) glutathione. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 5(1), 27-35. [cited 2023 June 22]

9. Dentico, P., Volpe, A., Buongiorno, R., Grattagliano, I., Altomare, E., Tantimonaco, G., Scotto, G., Sacco, R., & Schiraldi, O. (1995). Il glutatione nella terapia delle epatopatie croniche steatosiche [Glutathione in the treatment of chronic fatty liver diseases]. Recenti progressi in medicina, 86(7-8), 290–293. [cited 2023 June 22]

10. Smeyne, M., & Smeyne, R. J. (2013). Glutathione metabolism and Parkinson’s disease. Free radical biology and medicine, 62, 13-25. [cited 2023 June 22]

11. Al-Mashhedy, L. A. (2012). Study of Glutathione and Total thiol Levels in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients. Journal of University of Babylon, 20(2). [cited 2023 June 22]

12. Perricone, C., De Carolis, C., & Perricone, R. (2009). Glutathione: a key player in autoimmunity. Autoimmunity reviews, 8(8), 697–701. [cited 2023 June 22]

13. Prasad A, Andrews NP, Padder FA, Husain M, Quyyumi AA. Glutathione reverses endothelial dysfunction and improves nitric oxide bioavailability. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1999 Aug;34(2):507-14. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(99)00216-8. PMID: 10440166. [cited 2023 June 22]

14. Rose, S., Melnyk, S., Pavliv, O., Bai, S., Nick, T. G., Frye, R. E., & James, S. J. (2012). Evidence of oxidative damage and inflammation associated with low glutathione redox status in the autism brain. Translational psychiatry, 2(7), e134. [cited 2023 June 22]

15. Dean OM, van den Buuse M, Bush AI, Copolov DL, Ng F, Dodd S, Berk M. A role for glutathione in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia? Animal models and relevance to clinical practice. Curr Med Chem. 2009;16(23):2965-76. doi: 10.2174/092986709788803060. PMID: 19689277. [cited 2023 June 22]

Originally Published Sep 13, 2018 by Lyle Murphy

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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