dextromethorphan hydrobromide

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dextromethorphan hydrobromide

Adult Dry Cough (UK), Balminil DM (CA), Broncho-Grippol-DM (CA), Calmylin #1 (CA), Creo-Terpin, Creomulsion, Delsym, DexAlone, Hold DM, Koffex-DM (CA), Neo-DM (CA), Robitussin Children's Cough Long-Acting, Robitussin for Dry Coughs (UK), Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough Suppressant, Scot-Tussin Diabetes, Sedatuss (CA), Triaminic Children's Long-Acting Cough, Trocal, Vicks DayQuil Cough, Vicks Vaposyrup for Dry Cough (UK), Vicks 44 Cough Relief

Pharmacologic class: Levorphanol derivative

Therapeutic class: Antitussive (nonnarcotic)

Pregnancy risk category C


Depresses cough reflex through direct effect on cough center in medulla. Has no expectorant action and does not inhibit ciliary action. Although related to opioids structurally, lacks analgesic and addictive properties.


Gelcaps: 15 mg, 30 mg

Liquid: 3.5 mg/5 ml, 5 mg/5 ml, 7.5 mg/5 ml, 15 mg/5 ml

Lozenges: 5 mg, 7.5 mg

Oral suspension (extended-release): 30 mg/5 ml

Syrup: 7.5 mg/5 ml, 10 mg/15 ml

Indications and dosages

Cough caused by minor viral upper respiratory tract infections or inhaled irritants

Adults and children over age 12: 10 to 20 mg P.O. q 4 hours, or 30 mg P.O. q 6 to 8 hours, or 60 mg of extended-release form P.O. b.i.d. (not to exceed 120 mg/day)

Children ages 6 to 12: 5 to 10 mg P.O. q 4 hours, or 15 mg P.O. q 6 to 8 hours, or 30 mg of extended-release form P.O. q 12 hours (not to exceed 60 mg/day)

Children ages 4 to 6: 2.5 to 7.5 mg (syrup) P.O. q 4 to 8 hours or 15 mg (extended-release form) P.O. b.i.d. Not to exceed 30 mg/day.

Dosage adjustment

• Elderly patients


• Hypersensitivity to drug
• Chronic productive cough
• MAO inhibitor use within past 14 days


Use cautiously in:
• tartrazine sensitivity
• diabetes mellitus (with sucrose-containing drug products)
• pregnant or breastfeeding patients
• children younger than age 2 (safety not established).


• Don't administer lozenges to children younger than age 6.

Don't give within 14 days of MAO inhibitors.

Adverse reactions

CNS: dizziness and sedation

GI: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain


Drug-drug.Amiodarone, fluoxetine, quinidine: increased dextromethorphan blood level, greater risk of adverse reactions

Antidepressants, antihistamines, opioids, sedative-hypnotics: additive CNS depression

MAO inhibitors, sibutramine: serotonin syndrome (nausea, confusion, blood pressure changes)

Drug-behaviors.Alcohol use: additive CNS depression

Patient monitoring

• Monitor cough frequency and type, and assess sputum characteristics.
• Assess hydration status. Increase patient's fluid input to help moisten secretions.

Patient teaching

• Advise patient to avoid irritants, such as smoking, dust, and fumes. Suggest use of humidifier to filter air pollutants.
• Inform patient that treatment aims to decrease coughing frequency and intensity without completely eliminating protective cough reflex.
• Instruct patient to contact health care provider if cough lasts more than 7 days.
• As appropriate, review all other significant adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs and behaviors mentioned above.

dex·tro·meth·or·phan hy·dro·bro·mide

(deks'trō-meth-ōr'fan hī'drō-brō'mīd),
A synthetic morphine derivative used as an antitussive agent. Inferior to codeine but does not seem to create physical dependence. It has weak central depressant action.

dextromethorphan hydrobromide

an antitussive derived from morphine but lacking opioid effects.
indication It is prescribed for the suppression of nonproductive cough.
contraindications Use of a monoamine oxidase inhibitor within the past 14 days or known hypersensitivity to this drug prohibits its use.
adverse effects The most serious adverse reaction is respiratory depression resulting from large doses.

dex·tro·meth·or·phan hy·dro·bro·mide

(deks'trō-mĕ-thōr'fan hī'drō-brō'mīd)
A synthetic morphine derivative used as an antitussive agent. Inferior to codeine but does not seem to create physical dependence. It has weak central depressant action.