Dextromethorphan / phenylephrine Side Effects
For the Consumer
Applies to dextromethorphan / phenylephrine: oral liquid, oral solution, oral strip, oral syrup
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling nervous and excitable.
- Not able to sleep.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
For Healthcare Professionals
Nervous system side effects of dextromethorphan have included drowsiness and dizziness. Other side effects such as excitation, mental confusion, and opioid like respiratory depression have been rare and occurred at higher dosages. In some cases of abuse, patients experienced euphoria, hyperactivity, mania, and auditory and visual hallucinations.
Nervous system side effects of phenylephrine have included headache, dizziness, nervousness, restlessness, tremor, insomnia, convulsions, and central nervous system depression.[Ref]
Hypersensitivity side effects of dextromethorphan have included rare reports of fixed-drug eruptions.[Ref]
General side effects of phenylephrine have included pallor and weakness.[Ref]
Respiratory side effects of phenylephrine have included respiratory difficulty.[Ref]
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5. Polles A, Griffith JL "Dextromethorphan-induced mania." Psychosomatics 37 (1996): 71-4
6. Bostwick JM "Dextromethorphan-induced manic symptoms in a bipolar patient on lithium." Psychosomatics 37 (1996): 571-2
7. Helfer J, Kim OM "Psychoactive abuse potential of Robitussin-DM." Am J Psychiatry 147 (1990): 672-3
8. Hall RC, Beresford TP, Stickney SK, Nasdahl CS, Coleman JH "Psychiatric reactions produced by respiratory drugs." Psychosomatics 26 (1985): 605-8,616-7
9. Stubb S, Reitamo S "Fixed-drug eruption due to dextromethorphan ." Arch Dermatol 126 (1990): 970-1
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.
More about dextromethorphan/phenylephrine
- Dextromethorphan/phenylephrine Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
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- Drug class: upper respiratory combinations
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- Dextromethorphan and Phenylephrine Liquid
- Dextromethorphan and Phenylephrine Orally Disintegrating Strips