What is dextromethorphan?
When it comes to making decisions about the OTC products you purchase for your family, it can be a daunting task; store shelves house a wide range of products with various active ingredients. Vicks® wants to provide clear and concise information about the safe and responsible use of OTC products as well as the active ingredients. To help answer your questions, Vicks has created the following FAQ with help from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and their websites www.chpa-info.org and StopMedicineAbuse.org.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Dextromethorphan
What is Vicks doing to ensure the safe use of OTC medications?
The health and well-being of our consumers is our number one priority, and we strive to provide the most up-to-date information about the safe use of our OTC products. Vicks wants their products to be used only as directed, for the intended purpose. That's why they've teamed up with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. Visit StopMedicineAbuse.org to get the resources you need to make informed and educated decisions.
What is dextromethorphan?
Dextromethorphan is an effective, non-narcotic, non-addictive cough suppressant that works by raising the coughing threshold in the brain. It is an effective active ingredient found in more than 100 over-the-counter cough and cold products.
Is dextromethorphan addictive?
Dextromethorphan is not addictive. Clinical trials confirm that dextromethorphan does not produce physical addiction, lose effectiveness through increased tolerance, or cause withdrawal, even in high experimental doses. While the ingredient itself is not physically addictive, teens engaged in this sort of substance abuse behaviour may develop a pattern of habitual DXM use.4
What should parents know about dextromethorphan and abuse?
Dextromethorphan abuse is preventable. Substance abuse experts tell us that education is the most effective way to keep kids from abusing all types of substances, including over-the-counter medicines containing dextromethorphan. To help prevent or stop teen medicine abuse, parents should:
- Educate themselves about the problem of teens looking to otherwise safe and beneficial products, such as medications, as a means to a high, and know the warning signs.
- Talk to their teens about all types of drug abuse, including cough medicine abuse.
- Safeguard their medicine cabinets and know what products they have and how many.
- Monitor their teen's Internet use.
- Seek professional help if they think their child has a substance abuse problem.
Parents also need to be aware that:
- Over-the-counter medicine—just like any medicine—is a serious substance, and should be taken only as directed.
- Dextromethorphan-containing medicines, like all medicines, should be stored in a safe, secure location.
What are some of the slang terms for dextromethorphan?
Slang terms for dextromethorphan vary by product and region. Adults should be familiar with the most common terms, which include "Dex," "DXM," "Robo," "Skittles," "Syrup," "Triple-C," and "Tussin." Terms for using dextromethorphan include “Robo-ing,” “Robo-tripping,” and “Skittling,” among others.5
What are the effects of abusing dextromethorphan?
The effects of the abuse of cough medicines containing dextromethorphan can vary with the amount taken and from person to person. Common effects include confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, slurred speech, loss of physical coordination, stomach pain, vomiting, and rapid heartbeat. Those who have abused dextromethorphan describe different “plateaus,” ranging from mild distortions of colour and sound to visual hallucinations, “out of-body” dissociative sensations, and loss of motor control. The effects worsen as the dose increases.
Side effects can also be worsened when the cough medicine being abused contains other ingredients to treat more than just coughs or when it is combined with alcohol or illegal drugs.6
Where can I get more information on this topic?View sources
For more questions and answers about dextromethorphan visit the Consumer Health Products Association FAQ at http://www.chpa.org/FAQsDXM.aspx.
For more information on stopping medicine abuse, visit StopMedicineAbuse.org and www.FiveMoms.com.