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Dextromethorphan Abuse Side Effects

Even though dextromethorphan is used as a cold and cough suppressant, it can cause debilitating side-effects if not taken in the recommended doses. The side-effects depend on the length of time the abuse has been ongoing and the quantity of dextromethorphan which has been consumed. It is vital to seek medical assistance should you notice any such effects. Addiction to dextromethorphan can lead to damaging and permanent effects on the health of the user. There are several adverse and recognizable side-effects of dextromethorphan addiction.

These side-effects include nausea, breathing and urination difficulties, shallow, slow respiration, profuse sweating, extreme happiness, cold, dizziness, body weakness, chest pains, jaundice, constipation, terrible nightmares, impaired vision, hot and cold flushes, anxiety, numbness, hangovers, rigid muscles, impaired motor function, diarrhea, stomach cramps, muscle pains, euphoria, incoherent speech, headaches, sleep deprivation, elevated blood pressure and heartbeat and constricted or dilated pupils. Some side-effects are potentially lethal.

The abuser frequently vomits before and after eating. This can be very dangerous since the vomit can be inhaled. The body temperature of the addict rises, too.


When the drug is combined with alcohol or illicit drugs, the user can experience some psychedelic effects. When taken in large amounts, the user experiences hallucinations, dissociation, confusion, psychosis, increased euphoria, restlessness, mania, weight loss, paranoia, loss of muscle control, depression, tremors and hypertension. Large doses can have some very unpleasant effects and even addicts will tend to avoid them due to their intensity.

High dosages of dextromethorphan inhibit the normal functioning of the brain. This results in a loss of coordination, an inability to think straight, impaired judgment and loss of memory. The amount of oxygen reaching the brain may be limited and lead to a condition known as hypoxic brain. Dextromethorphan also causes allergic reactions leading to itching and irritation of the skin. The user may develop skin rashes. There may also be signs of swelling on the face. The swellings are very painful and contain fluid.

Dextromethorphan causes over-secretion of certain hormones in the body, such as bile. It also inhibits the release of male and female orgasm.

Addicts may develop unusual habits, for instance lying and stealing. Lying about the amount of dextromethorphan taken and going so far as to steal money from family members to purchase the drug. They feel an urgent need to get more dextromethorphan if their supply is low.

Excessive consumption of the substance causes rhabdomyolysis. This is a condition where muscle cells disintegrate and the constituents then enter the bloodstream. They accumulate in the kidney and cause kidney problems. Rhabdomyolysis is not always fatal but it may cause irreversible muscle damage.

Pregnant women should not take this substance since it may cause breathing difficulties for the fetus and over time the unborn baby will start suffering from withdrawal symptoms. It is important to inform your doctor early if you suspect you may be pregnant. Breast feeding women should also not take the substance since babies can ingest it through milk, causing harm to the infant.