Monday, May 23, 2005

Bad Medicine

Back in the day when I was a wee little teenager working as a pharmacy clerk for a national chain store I was suffering from a hacking cough one night. I bought myself a bottle of Robitussin DM and downed the whole thing trying to kill that cough. Eventually the cough went away but I had to call a friend to drive me home. Looks like I was lucky that was it:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is concerned about the abuse of dextromethorphan (DXM), a synthetically produced ingredient found in many over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold remedies. The agency is working with other health and law enforcement authorities to address this serious issue and warn the public of potential harm, after five recently reported deaths of teenagers that may be associated with the consumption of powdered DXM sold in capsules.

Although DXM, when formulated properly and used in small amounts, can be safely used in cough suppressant medicines, abuse of the drug can cause death as well as other serious adverse events such as brain damage, seizure, loss of consciousness, and irregular heart beat.

DXM abuse, though not a new phenomenon, has developed into a disturbing new trend which involves the sale of pure DXM in powdered form. This pure DXM is often encapsulated by the “dealer” and offered for street use.
Please note that taken properly, dxm is safe for use.