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Coricidin HBP Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold (Generic Dextromethorphan)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Dextromethorphan is primarily used as a cough suppressant. It’s often found in over-the-counter cough and cold medications. It works by suppressing the cough reflex in the brain. Dextromethorphan is typically used to relieve coughing due to minor throat and bronchial irritation as may occur with the common cold or inhaled irritants.

How should this medicine be used?

Dextromethorphan should be used exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Dosage: Take the medication as prescribed or as directed on the label. Do not take more than the recommended dose, as it can lead to harmful side effects.
  • Forms: Dextromethorphan comes in various forms such as tablets, capsules, liquids, and lozenges. Choose the form that is easiest for you to take, and always measure liquid doses carefully using a proper measuring device.
  • Frequency: Follow the dosing schedule provided by your doctor or pharmacist. Typically, dextromethorphan is taken every 4 to 6 hours as needed for cough relief. Do not take it more frequently than recommended.
  • Duration: Use dextromethorphan for the shortest duration necessary to relieve your symptoms. If your cough persists for more than a few days, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, consult your doctor.
  • Food and Drink: Dextromethorphan can be taken with or without food. However, if it upsets your stomach, you may take it with food or milk.
  • Precautions: Avoid consuming alcohol or other medications that can cause drowsiness while taking dextromethorphan, as it can enhance these effects.
  • Children: Use caution when giving dextromethorphan to children, and follow the dosing instructions provided for their age and weight. Never give adult formulations to children without consulting a healthcare professional.
  • Storage: Store dextromethorphan at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep it out of reach of children.

Always read the label and any accompanying information provided with the medication. If you have any questions or concerns about how to use dextromethorphan, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.

Other uses for this medicine

Dextromethorphan is primarily used as a cough suppressant, but it has also been explored for potential therapeutic effects beyond cough relief. Some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that it may have antidepressant properties, and there’s ongoing research into its potential in treating neuropathic pain and addiction disorders. However, these uses are not yet well-established or widely accepted, and more research is needed to fully understand the efficacy and safety of dextromethorphan for these purposes.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for using dextromethorphan:

  • Medical Conditions: Inform your doctor about any medical conditions you have, especially if you have a history of liver or kidney disease, respiratory problems such as asthma or chronic bronchitis, or if you are taking other medications, particularly monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), as interactions with these drugs can occur.
  • Allergies: If you have known allergies or sensitivities to dextromethorphan or any other medications, inform your healthcare provider before using it.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before using dextromethorphan, as its safety in these situations is not well-established.
  • Children and Elderly: Use caution when giving dextromethorphan to children and elderly individuals, and follow the dosing instructions provided for their age and weight.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Dextromethorphan may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities that require mental alertness until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Alcohol: Avoid consuming alcohol while taking dextromethorphan, as it can increase the risk of drowsiness and other side effects.
  • Overdose: Taking too much dextromethorphan can lead to serious side effects, including confusion, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, seizures, coma, and even death. Never exceed the recommended dosage and seek medical attention immediately if you suspect an overdose.

Always follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or on the medication label, and do not hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about using dextromethorphan.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Special dietary instructions for dextromethorphan aren’t usually necessary. It can typically be taken with or without food. However, if it upsets your stomach, you may take it with food or milk.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget a dose of dextromethorphan, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up. If you’re unsure what to do, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Dextromethorphan, like any medication, can cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects may include:

  • Drowsiness: Dextromethorphan can cause drowsiness or sedation, especially at higher doses or when combined with other medications that have similar effects.
  • Dizziness: Some individuals may experience dizziness or lightheadedness while taking dextromethorphan.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting can occur, particularly when taking higher doses or on an empty stomach.
  • Constipation: Dextromethorphan may cause constipation in some individuals.
  • Headache: Headaches are a possible side effect of dextromethorphan use.
  • Nervousness or Excitability: In some cases, dextromethorphan may cause nervousness or excitability, especially in sensitive individuals.
  • Confusion or Hallucinations: Taking high doses of dextromethorphan or using it improperly can lead to confusion, hallucinations, or other cognitive disturbances.
  • Allergic Reactions: Allergic reactions to dextromethorphan are rare but can occur. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
  • Serotonin Syndrome: In rare cases, dextromethorphan can interact with other medications to cause serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by symptoms such as agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Other Side Effects: Other less common side effects may include blurred vision, difficulty urinating, dry mouth, sweating, or skin rash.

If you experience any severe or persistent side effects while taking dextromethorphan, or if you have concerns about its use, contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

When it comes to the storage and disposal of dextromethorphan:


  • Keep dextromethorphan in its original packaging at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
  • Store it out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not store dextromethorphan in the bathroom or near the kitchen sink, where it could be exposed to moisture.
  • Keep dextromethorphan in a secure location to prevent accidental ingestion or misuse.


  • Dispose of unused or expired dextromethorphan safely and responsibly.
  • Follow any specific disposal instructions provided by your pharmacist or local waste disposal facility.
  • Do not flush dextromethorphan down the toilet or pour it down the drain unless instructed to do so by your pharmacist or local authorities.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • If you suspect an overdose of dextromethorphan or if someone has ingested it accidentally, call your local emergency services or poison control center immediately.
  • Provide them with as much information as possible, including the amount of dextromethorphan ingested, the time of ingestion, and any symptoms experienced.
  • Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by medical personnel.
  • Seek medical attention promptly, as overdose of dextromethorphan can be serious and potentially life-threatening.

What other information should I know?

  • Keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory while taking dextromethorphan, as your doctor may need to monitor your response to the medication or perform certain tests.
  • Do not share dextromethorphan with others, even if they have similar symptoms, as it may not be appropriate for their condition.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or worsen after taking dextromethorphan, consult your doctor for further evaluation and treatment.
  • Inform any healthcare provider treating you about all the medications you are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter, herbal, or dietary supplements, as they may interact with dextromethorphan.
  • Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how dextromethorphan affects you, as it may cause drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Follow any additional instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist regarding the use of dextromethorphan, including dietary restrictions or lifestyle modifications.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure safe and effective use of dextromethorphan while minimizing the risk of adverse effects and complications.

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