August 28, 2010 Kim Goldman

Dextromethorphan (AKA Dex, Skittles, Syrup, DXM, Robo, Tussin) is a legal, over-the-counter, semisynthetic narcotic available in many cough suppressants in the United States and most countries.  Any drug name with DM or Tuss in it contains the drug.

What does it look like?

DXM comes in many different forms. The most common are various over-the-counter cough suppressants (including Robitussin, Delsym, Pertussin, Drixoral, Vicks formula 44, and several generic brands). Each brand contains different quantities of dextromethorphan, generally in the 20-30 mg per capsule range.

How is it used?


What are its short-term effects?

Symptoms of an overdose include flushing, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, seizures, confusion, high blood pressure (headache, redness of face, blurred vision), an irregular heartbeat, numbness of fingers or toes, hyperactivity, and hallucinations.

Yes, teens are abusing over the counter drugs

In 2008, 1.9 million youth (or 7.7 percent) age 12 to 17 abused prescription drugs, with 1.6 million (6.5 percent) abusing a prescription pain medication. That makes painkillers among the most commonly abused drugs by teens after tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana. In fact, each day an average of 2,000 teenagers age 12 to 17 used a prescription drug without a doctor’s guidance for the first time.

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