Medications

Common cough medicine may help treat multiple sclerosis

(Medical Xpress) -- A drug widely used in over-the-counter cough medicines appears to protect against symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a finding that could offer a new and inexpensive therapy for a condition with few effective ...

Medications

FDA looks to curb abuse of cough medicine

(AP) -- Federal health regulators are weighing restrictions on Robitussin, NyQuil and other cough suppressants to curb cases of abuse that send thousands of people to the hospital each year.

Dextromethorphan

Dextromethorphan (DXM or DM) is an antitussive (cough suppressant) drug. It is one of the active ingredients in many over-the-counter cold and cough medicines, such as Robitussin, NyQuil, Dimetapp, Vicks, Coricidin, Delsym, and others, including generic labels. Dextromethorphan has also found other uses in medicine, ranging from pain relief to psychological applications. It is sold in syrup, tablet, spray, and lozenge forms. In its pure form, dextromethorphan occurs as a white powder.

DXM is also used recreationally. When exceeding label-specified maximum dosages, dextromethorphan acts as a dissociative hallucinogen. Its mechanism of action is via multiple effects, including actions as a nonselective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and a sigma-1 receptor agonist and the action of its major metabolite dextrorphan as an NMDA receptor antagonist, producing effects similar to those of the controlled substances ketamine and phencyclidine (PCP), as well as the active metabolite 3-methoxymorphinan which produces local anesthetic effects in rats with a potency above dextrorphan but below dextromethorphan itself.

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