Why is this medication prescribed?
Dextromethorphan is used to treat cough that is brought on by the flu, the common cold, or other diseases. Dextromethorphan will suppress coughing, but it won’t cure the underlying cause or hasten healing. The drug dextromethorphan belongs to the group of drugs known as antitussives. It functions by reducing activity in the area of the brain responsible for coughing.
How should this medicine be used?
There are several different forms of dextromethorphan available, including a liquid-filled capsule, a chewable tablet, a dissolving strip, a solution, an extended-release (long-acting) suspension, and an oral lozenge. Depending on need, it is often taken every 4 to 12 hours. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on the packaging or prescription label that you do not understand, and carefully follow them.
Only use dextromethorphan in accordance with the label’s or the package’s instructions. Dextromethorphan should not be consumed in excess of the specified dose in a 24-hour period. To ascertain how much is in each dose, consult the container or prescription label. Large doses of dextromethorphan use might result in fatal adverse effects.
Dextromethorphan is available both by itself and in combination with decongestants, antihistamines, and cough suppressants. Find out which product is best for your symptoms by consulting your doctor or pharmacist. Before using two or more non-prescription cough and cold medications simultaneously, carefully read the labelling. If you take these products together, you can experience an overdose because they might both contain the same active ingredient. This is crucial if you plan to give children cough and cold drugs.
Cough and cold remedies sold over-the-counter, including those containing dextromethorphan, can have fatal side effects in young children. Give these goods to kids who are under the age of four not at all. If you provide these goods to kids between the ages of 4 and 11, use caution and pay close attention to the instructions on the container.
Make sure the product is appropriate for a child of that age by carefully reading the package label before administering a child dextromethorphan or a combination product that contains it. Products containing dextromethorphan intended for adults should not be given to children.
Check the package label before giving a child a dextromethorphan product to determine how much of the medication the youngster needs to take. Use the dose on the chart that corresponds to the child’s age. If you are unsure about how much medication to give the child, consult their doctor.
Do not measure your dose if you are consuming the drink with a regular spoon. Use a spoon designed specifically for measuring medication, the measuring cup that came with it, or both.
The dissolving strips should be placed on your tongue and then swallowed once they have melted.
When consuming chewable tablets, you can either let them melt in your mouth or chew them beforehand before swallowing.
Before using the extended-release solution, shake the bottle vigorously to uniformly distribute the drug.
Allow the lozenges to gradually melt in your mouth if you’re taking them.
If your cough does not improve within seven days, if it disappears and reappears, or if it coincides with a fever, rash, or headache, stop taking dextromethorphan and make an appointment with your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you’re interested in using this drug for any other conditions.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking dextromethorphan,
- If you have an allergy to dextromethorphan, any other medications, or any of the substances in the product you want to take, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. A list of the ingredients can be found on the package label.
- If you are currently on an MAO inhibitor, such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate), or if you have just finished taking an MAO inhibitor within the last two weeks, you should not take dextromethorphan.
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products that you are now taking or intend to use.
- Inform your doctor if you smoke, have a persistent cough that produces a lot of mucus, or have ever had breathing issues including asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis.
- Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking dextromethorphan.
- You should be aware that some brands of chewable tablets containing dextromethorphan may be sweetened with aspartame, a source of phenylalanine, if you have phenylketonuria (PKU), an inherited condition that requires you to follow a special diet to prevent brain damage that could cause severe intellectual disability.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Usually, dextromethorphan is given as needed. If you regularly take dextromethorphan as prescribed by your doctor, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Side effects from dextromethorphan could exist. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Abdominal pain
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
Other negative effects of dextromethorphan are possible. If you encounter any odd issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- Alterations to vision
- Having trouble breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- Coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)
What other information should I know?
Ask any queries you may have regarding dextromethorphan to your pharmacist.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.
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