DXM (Dextromethorphan) is a cough-suppressing ingredient in a variety of over-the-counter cold and cough medications. Dextromethorphan, a semisynthetic narcotic, is an ingredient found in any cold medicine with “DM” or “Tuss” in the title or name. There are approximately 70 different products on the market that contain DXM.


Dextromethorphan acts centrally to elevate the threshold for coughing. At the doses recommended for treating coughs (1/6 to 1/3 ounce of medication, containing 15 mg to 30 mg dextromethorphan), the drug is safe and effective. At much higher doses (4 or more ounces), dextromethorphan produces disassociative effects similar to those of PCP and ketamine.


Orange Crush, Triple C’s, C-C-C, Red Devils, Skittles, Dex, Vitamin D, Robo, Robo-trippin’, Robo-dosing.


Euphoria, enhanced awareness, impaired judgment, loss of coordination, dizziness, nausea, seizures, panic attacks, psychosis, brain damage, and addiction. Coma and death may result from taking cold medicines with Dextromethorphan. Tolerance and physical dependence may develop with prolonged use. Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, muscle or bone aches, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold flashes with goose bumps (“cold turkey”).

Recent reports indicate that a powdered form of Dextromethorphan is available on the Internet. Internet sites also inform young users to drink cough syrup expeditiously in order to absorb enough DXM from the drink prior to the impending incidence of vomiting which will occur as a result of the ingestion of the large volume of syrup required for intoxication.

Source: DEA Diversion Control Program

Teens have been reported to drink three or four bottles of cough syrup in one day and take up to 20-30 tablets of Coricidin at once. There have been reported cases of overdoses that have resulted in coma and death.

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  1. Cough and Cold Medicine (DXM and Codeine Syrup)  From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Drug Abuse)  
    … Citation Site Map Print Cough and Cold Medicine ( Codeine Syrup) Street names: Candy, Drank, Robo … Use and Health Related Cough and Cold Medicine (DXM and Codeine Syrup) Interactives National Drug IQ Challenge …
  2. DXM overdose; Robo overdose; Orange crush overdose; Red devils overdose; Triple C’s overdose … Drug Administration. FDA Warns Against Abuse of Dextromethorphan

Other Sources

Drug Identification Guide

CDC Facts

CDC Addiction Info

CDC Overdose Stats

CDC Substance Treatment

Whitehouse Drug Free Communities

Samhsa Workplace Programs

Drug Free

Federal Register Codification

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