Dextromethorphan

Pronunciation

Generic Name: dextromethorphan (DEX-troe-meth-OR-fan)
Brand Name: Examples include DexAlone and Robitussin CoughGels

Dextromethorphan is used for:

Temporarily relieving cough due to the common cold, upper respiratory tract infections, sinus inflammation, sore throat, or bronchitis.

Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. It works by loosening mucus and lung secretions in the chest and making coughs more productive.

Do NOT use dextromethorphan if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in dextromethorphan
  • you are taking or have taken furazolidone or a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using dextromethorphan:

Some medical conditions may interact with dextromethorphan. Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have chronic cough, chronic bronchitis or any breathing problems, such as asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or if cough occurs with a large amount of mucus

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with dextromethorphan. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Furazolidone or MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine) because the risk of toxic side effects may be increased by dextromethorphan

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if dextromethorphan may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use dextromethorphan:

Use dextromethorphan as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Dextromethorphan may be taken with or without food. Take with food if stomach upset occurs.
  • If you miss a dose of dextromethorphan and you are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use dextromethorphan.

Important safety information:

  • Dextromethorphan may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or lightheadedness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to dextromethorphan. Using dextromethorphan alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • If your cough lasts for more than 1 week or comes back, or if you also have a fever, rash, or persistent headache, contact your health care provider. A persistent cough could be a sign of a serious condition.
  • Dextromethorphan contains dextromethorphan. Before you being taking any new prescription or nonprescription medicine, read the ingredients to see if it also contains dextromethorphan. If it does or if you are not sure, contact your health care provider or pharmacist.
  • Phenylketonuria patients - Dextromethorphan contains phenylalanine.
  • Dextromethorphan is not recommended for use in CHILDREN younger than 2 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using dextromethorphan during pregnancy. It is unknown if dextromethorphan is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking dextromethorphan.

Possible side effects of dextromethorphan:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dizziness; drowsiness; stomach upset.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; excitement; hallucinations; slowed breathing.

Proper storage of dextromethorphan:

Store dextromethorphan between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep dextromethorphan out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about dextromethorphan, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Dextromethorphan is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take dextromethorphan or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about dextromethorphan. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to dextromethorphan. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using dextromethorphan.

Issue Date: December 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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