Frequently Asked Questions

dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid

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Delsym

Antitussives


Pronunciation

Dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid is used for:

Temporarily relieving cough due to the common cold, hay fever, upper respiratory tract infections, sinus inflammation, sore throat, or bronchitis.

Dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid is a cough suppressant. It works in the cough center of the brain to reduce a dry or nonproductive cough.

Do NOT use dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid
  • you are taking or have taken furazolidone or a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid:

Some medical conditions may interact with dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid. Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have chronic cough, chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or if cough occurs with a large amount of mucus

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Furazolidone or MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine) because the risk of toxic side effects may be increased by dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid:

Use dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid may be taken with or without food. Take with food if stomach upset occurs.
  • Shake well before using.
  • Use a measuring device marked for medicine dosing. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
  • If you miss a dose of dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid and you are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid.

Important safety information:

  • Dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or lightheadedness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid. Using dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • If your cough lasts for more than 1 week or comes back, or if you also have a fever, rash, or persistent headache, contact your health care provider. A persistent cough could be a sign of a serious condition.
  • Dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid contains dextromethorphan. Before you being taking any new prescription or nonprescription medicine, read the ingredients to see if it also contains dextromethorphan. If it does or if you are not sure, contact your health care provider or pharmacist.
  • Diabetes patients - Some brands of dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid may contain sugar and affect your blood sugar level. Read the label carefully before using dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid.
  • Dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid is not recommended for use in CHILDREN younger than 2 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is unknown if dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant while taking dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid during pregnancy. It is unknown if dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid.

Possible side effects of dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dizziness; drowsiness; stomach upset.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; excitement; hallucinations; slowed breathing.

Proper storage of dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid:

Store dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using dextromethorphan polistirex extended-release liquid.

Issue Date: February 4, 2015
Database Edition 15.1.1.002
Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Not all side effects for dextromethorphan may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to dextromethorphan: oral capsule, oral capsule liquid filled, oral elixir, oral liquid, oral lozenge/troche, oral solution, oral suspension, oral suspension extended release, oral syrup, oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by dextromethorphan. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking dextromethorphan, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Blurred vision
  • confusion
  • difficulty in urination
  • drowsiness or dizziness
  • nausea or vomiting (severe)
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • slowed breathing
  • unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or irritability (severe)

Some of the side effects that can occur with dextromethorphan may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

Less common or rare
  • Confusion
  • constipation
  • dizziness (mild)
  • drowsiness (mild)
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • stomach pain

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to dextromethorphan: compounding powder, oral capsule, oral disintegrating strip, oral drops, oral liquid, oral lozenge, oral solution, oral suspension extended release, oral syrup, oral tablet chewable

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included drowsiness and dizziness. Other side effects such as excitation, mental confusion, and opioid like respiratory depression have been rare and occurred at higher dosages. In some cases of abuse, patients experienced euphoria, hyperactivity, mania, and auditory and visual hallucinations.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects have included stomach upset.[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity side effects have included rare reports of fixed-drug eruptions.[Ref]

References

1. Murray S, Brewerton T "Abuse of over-the-counter dextromethorphan by teenagers." South Med J 86 (1993): 1151-3

2. Bostwick JM "Dextromethorphan-induced manic symptoms in a bipolar patient on lithium." Psychosomatics 37 (1996): 571-2

3. Polles A, Griffith JL "Dextromethorphan-induced mania." Psychosomatics 37 (1996): 71-4

4. Helfer J, Kim OM "Psychoactive abuse potential of Robitussin-DM." Am J Psychiatry 147 (1990): 672-3

5. Wolfe TR, Caravati EM "Massive dextromethorphan ingestion and abuse." Am J Emerg Med 13 (1995): 174-6

6. Hall RC, Beresford TP, Stickney SK, Nasdahl CS, Coleman JH "Psychiatric reactions produced by respiratory drugs." Psychosomatics 26 (1985): 605-8,616-7

7. Covington TR, Lawson LC, Young LL, eds. "Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. 10th ed." Washington, DC: American Pharmaceutical Association (1993):

8. Stubb S, Reitamo S "Fixed-drug eruption due to dextromethorphan ." Arch Dermatol 126 (1990): 970-1

9. Knowles SR, Weber E "Dextromethorphan anaphylaxis." J Allerg Clin Immunol 102 (1998): 316-7

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