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Key Information





Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide


Robo, Skittles, Triple C, Tussin, Dex


Effects depend on the level of dosage and tolerance. Low doses produce effects similar to alcohol with carefree clumsiness, mood shift, and a state of euphoria. Higher doses tend to produce impaired judgment and mental performance, hallucinations coupled with sweating, racing heart rate, and feelings of dissociation from the body. Someone under the influence may also experience itching, red blotchy skin, vomiting, and dizziness.  Duration of Intoxication: The typical high is about 4 to 8 hours, depending on body weight and how the DXM is obtained. OTC medications last about 4 hours with purer forms of DXM producing a longer high.


Most common use is by drinking cough syrup. There are home methods of extracting DXM from pills and then placing the powder in gel caps, however, there have been documented deaths resulting from people abusing Coricidin, either by taking the extracted DXM, or over dosing on Coricidin pills. Extracted DXM is sometimes mixed with MDMA, or “special K” in home made gel caps to produce an intense experience.

HEALTH RISKS (long term) which includes withdrawal & tolerance:

Cough medications including DXM can contain other ingredients, such as acetaminophen, which can be very dangerous when taken in large quantities. At high enough doses, DXM alone can suppress the central nervous system. If this happens your brain can stop telling your lungs to breathe. Some drugs that people take to get the DXM high also include other ingredients which can interact in your body and have dangerous consequences. And remember, extremely high doses of DXM can induce a hallucinatory state which can lead to "accidents" that result in death.  DXM also will exaggerate any symptoms of mental illness and has resulted in death by users taking DXM with anti-depressants.  Widely abused because of the easy accessibility of DXM, however, the side effects of the experience are reported to be uncomfortable and often times abuse will not lead to addiction.


DXM is specifically exempted from control by the 1971 and 2001 versions of the Misuse of Drugs Act. DXM is listed as a Pharmacy Only Medication and its sale is limited by the discretion of the selling pharmacy.

  1. DXM replaced codeine and other opiates in over the counter cough suppressants in the 60’s due to the number of people who were abusing the medications.
  2. It is currently legal as an active ingredient in cough suppressants and widely abused by adolescents due to the easy accessibility of the ingredient through cough syrups.
  3. Trying to obtain a DXM high through over the counter medications is extremely dangerous because of other ingredients in the cough syrups such as Acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage, heart attack, strokes, or even death.
  4. It is also suspected that DXM in “pure” form has resulted in brain lesions among users. DXM abuse is still under investigation.
  5. At dangerously high-level doses Dextromethorphan is dissociative, like PCP and ketamine.
  6. Since the 1950s it has been used primarily as a safe and effective cough suppressant ingredient found in over-the-counter cough medicines.
  7. These days, people are abusing this medicine and causing serious damage to their bodies. They think because it's usually found in over-the-counter medicines that it must be harmless.
  8. A 2008 study found that one in 10 teenagers from the UK has abused products with DXM to get high, making it more popular in that age group than cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and meth. Although DXM products are quite safe when taken as recommended, high doses can cause hallucinogenic trips -- and pose serious risks.
  9. Abuse of DXM occurs in all age groups but is most prevalent in youth and adolescents.
  10. There are also names given to reference the intoxication of DXM users which include: Dexing, Robo tripping and Skittling.
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