Delsim is a brand of cough syrup that contains the sustained-release drug dextromethorphan. Dextromethorphan is found in many brand-name cough, cold, and flu remedies, including Robitussin , Dimetapp, and Theraflu. It is used to temporarily relieve coughs caused by mild irritation of the throat and bronchial tubes and inhaled irritants.
Delsim differs from other dextromethorphan formulations in that the active ingredient is surrounded by an edible plastic called polystyrene.
When ingested, the plastic molecule slowly dissolves by stomach acid, releasing the drug into the body over 12 hours. It is the only over-the-counter cough medicine. One teaspoon (5 ml) of polystyrene dextromethorphan is equivalent to 30 ml of dextromethorphan .
Delsim can be used by adults and children over four years of age. It should not be used in children under the age of four unless directed by a doctor.
The recommended dosage is as follows :
- Adults and children over 12 years: two teaspoons (10 ml) every 12 hours, but no more than four teaspoons (20 ml) in 24 hours.
- Children 6 to 12 years: one teaspoon (5 ml) every 12 hours, but no more than two teaspoons (10 ml) in 24 hours.
- Children four to six years: half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) every 12 hours, but no more than one teaspoon (5 ml) in 24 hours.
Common side effects
While Delsim is considered safe when used as directed, it can cause side effects in some cases, most of which are mild and self-limiting. Among the most common side effects :
- Abdominal pain
- Threw up
Contraindications and considerations.
Do not take Delsim if you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or have taken one of them in the past two weeks. MAOIs are a class of medications used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
You should stop taking Delsim and call your doctor if your symptoms get worse, last more than seven days, or have a fever that lasts more than three days. The same rules apply to children if symptoms last more than five days.
Some use dextromethorphan recreationally, and if too much is taken, it can cause a dissociative hallucinogenic state similar to that of the drugs ketamine and PCP. Symptoms include a distorted out-of-body sensation, euphoria, excitement, and loss of time .
It is easy to overdose on dextromethorphan with 3 times the recommended dose. Effects can vary based on body size and previous drug exposure.
If you take an overdose of dextromethorphan, the side effects can be serious and may include:
- Blurred vision or double vision
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Late students
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty urinating
- Shallow breathing
In extreme cases, temporary vision loss, excessive heart palpitations ( tachycardia ), and loss of consciousness can occur, which are a medical emergency. Regular recreational use over a long period of time can cause withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be quite serious. Death is also known to occur when a large amount of the drug is swallowed .