Dextromethorphan is a cough-suppressing ingredient found in a variety of over-the-counter cold and cough medications. Like PCP and Ketamine, dextromethorphan is a dissociative anesthetic, meaning DXM effects can include hallucinations.
What does it look like?
Cough syrup and cough and cold tablets or gel caps that are available without a prescription. Also, dextromethorphan can be purchased in a powder form, often over the internet.
How is it used?
What are its short-term effects?
The effects of dextromethorphan abuse vary with the amount taken. Common DXM effects can include confusion, dizziness, double or blurred vision, slurred speech, impaired physical coordination, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, numbness of fingers and toes, and disorientation. DXM abusers describe different “plateaus” ranging from mild distortions of color and sound to visual hallucinations and “out-of-body,” dissociative, sensations, and loss of motor control.
What are its long-term effects?
The abuse of cough medications including DXM can contain other ingredients, such as acetaminophen, which can be very dangerous when taken in large quantities. For example, large quantities of acetaminophen can damage the liver.
DXM is also sometimes abused with other drugs or alcohol, which can increase the dangerous physical effects.
What is its federal classification?
Source: Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)