Taking cough suppressants that contain DXM can lead to DXM addiction. DXM is the abbreviation for Dextromethorphan . Dextromethorphan is an ingredient found in most cough and cold over the counter medicines. It comes in syrup, tablet, spray and lozenge forms. In it’s purest form it is a white powder. It acts as a cough suppressant.
It manipulates and suppresses the cough center of the brain. Following oral administration of the medicine it is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract where it enters the blood stream and crosses the blood-brain barrier.
At therapeutic levels it acts on the brain instead of the respiratory tract. It alleviates the coughing threshold without inhibiting ciliary activity. It is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and converted into the active metabolite dextrorphan in the liver by the cytochrome P450 enzyme.
The average dose is between 10mg. and 45mg. depending on the individual. Taken as a medication for cough and colds it has a minimal amount of side effects. Dextromethorphan is one of the few OTC medications with any serious abuse potential.
There are over one hundred medications that contain this product either alone or in combination with another active ingredient. Some medications that contain this ingredient are Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold, Triaminic, Sudafed, Dimetapp DM, Robitussin, Vicks Nyquil LiquiCaps, Most people, especially teenagers have no idea of the consequences of taking this drug on a recreational level. The truth is this drug has short as well as long term consequences including death.
DXM used as a recreational drug gives similar sensations as Ketamine, or Special K, PCP, alcohol, marijuana, and opiates. Whether you take a recreational dose or a normal dose of cough suppressant it will still have effects that last four hours or as long as the medication is suppose to last.
This drug’s short term side effects include but are not limited to confusion, dizziness, double or blurred vision, slurred speech, physical discoordination, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, rapid heart beat, drowsiness, numbness of fingers and toes, disorientation and temporary sexual dysfunction. The long term effects of this drug are coma, brain damage, liver damage, respiratory distress and death.
Taken in high enough dosage it can suppress the central nervous system and then the brain can stop sending messages to the lungs to breath. However death due to this drug is uncommon. Death related to DXM is usually caused by taking an interactive drug with Dextromethorphan, or mental and physical impairment. Individuals usually consume other ingredients that induces vomiting. Naloxone is considered to be the antidote to Dextromethorphan overdose.
Those that abuse this drug report different levels of highs. It varies from mild distortions of color and sound, to visual hallucinations and feelings of detachment from oneself. The length of time that the hallucinations last depends on the tolerance level of the individual. It will also depend on the type of DXM used.
When it wears off it will usually produce a calming afterglow that can last up to fourteen hours or more. Many people find such large doses to be extremely unpleasant and do not want to repeat them.