Dextromethorphan helps relieve coughs.

Pronunciation: dex-troe-meth-OR-fan

What are dextromethorphan’s uses?

Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant that helps with relief when battling with infections such as a cold or sinusitis. It decreases your urge to cough and is generally administered as a cough syrup.

It will not help when it comes to coughs caused by asthma, emphysema or smoking.

What dosage should you take?

For adults, a typical dose is 15mg four hourly, or 30mg six to eight hourly. For children two to six years, the dosage is 7.5mg six to eight hourly, and for 6 to 12 years, 7.5 to 15mg six to eight hourly.

However, always check the correct dosages with your Clicks pharmacist first.

What special precautions should you take?

  • Never take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs, which are first-generation antidepressants) with dextromethorphan as this combination can cause serious side effects. 
  • Children younger than six should not take dextromethorphan unless directed to do so by a doctor or Clicks pharmacist.
  • Using dextromethorphan during pregnancy and breastfeeding is considered safe.
  • Don’t drink alcohol when taking dextromethorphan.

Dextromethorphan should be used with caution if you suffer from the following conditions:

What drug interactions could you experience?

To avoid adverse drug interactions, always inform your doctor or Clicks pharmacist what prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or planning to take.

What are dextromethorphan’s side effects?

Side effects could include:

This is not a complete list of side effects. It’s essential that you call your doctor should you notice any severe or odd side effects.

What are the overdose symptoms?

Call your doctor or an ambulance if these overdose symptoms present

  • Increased heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Agitation
  • Feeling high
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe drowsiness
The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in April 2015