Does delsym cause drowsiness



Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold. These symptoms include rash, itching, watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, cough, runny nose, and sneezing. It is also used to prevent and treat nausea, vomiting and dizziness caused by motion sickness. Diphenhydramine can also be used to help you relax and fall asleep.This medication works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction. Its drying effects on such symptoms as watery eyes and runny nose are caused by blocking another natural substance made by your body (acetylcholine).Cough-and-cold products have not been shown to be safe or effective in children younger than 6 years. Therefore, do not use this product to treat cold symptoms in children younger than 6 years unless specifically directed by the doctor. Some products (such as long-acting tablets/capsules) are not recommended for use in children younger than 12 years. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details about using your product safely.These products do not cure or shorten the length of the common cold and may cause serious side effects. To decrease the risk for serious side effects, carefully follow all dosage directions. Do not use this product to make a child sleepy. Do not give other cough-and-cold medication that might contain the same or similar ingredients

See also Drug Interactions section.

Ask the doctor or pharmacist about other ways to relieve cough and cold symptoms (such as drinking enough fluids, using a humidifier or saline nose drops/spray).

other uses

This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This drug may also be used for shaking (tremor) and muscle stiffness caused by Parkinson’s disease. It may also be used for side effects of certain psychiatric drugs such as involuntary movements and muscle stiffness (such as EPS). It works by blocking acetylcholine

See also Uses section.

how to use

Follow all directions on the product package. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take it as directed. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take the tablet, capsule, or liquid form by mouth with or without food. Measure liquid forms of this medication using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. If you have a single-dose form of this medication (such as a single-use whistle), you do not need to measure the dose.The rapidly-dissolving tablet or strip should be allowed to dissolve on the tongue and then swallowed, with or without water. The chewable tablets should be chewed thoroughly before being swallowed.The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. There are many brands and forms of diphenhydramine available. Read the dosing instructions carefully for each product because the amount of diphenhydramine may be different between products. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than directed.To prevent motion sickness, take your dose 30 minutes before starting activity such as travel. To help you sleep, take your dose about 30 minutes before bedtime. If you continue to have difficulty sleeping for longer than 2 weeks, contact your doctor.Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

side effects

Drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, stomach upset, blurred vision, or dry mouth/nose/throat may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.To relieve dry mouth, suck (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute.If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as restlessness, confusion), difficulty urinating, fast/irregular heartbeat.Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizures.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.


Before taking diphenhydramine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to dimenhydrinate; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: breathing problems (such as asthma, emphysema), high pressure in the eye (glaucoma), heart problems, high blood pressure, liver disease, seizures, stomach/intestine problems (such as ulcers, blockage), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), difficulty urinating (for example, due to enlarged prostate).This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).Liquid products, chewable tablets, or dissolving tablets/strips may contain sugar and/or aspartame. Liquid products may also contain alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, liver disease, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug. This drug can often cause excitement in young children instead of drowsiness.Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, constipation, or trouble urinating. Drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion can increase the risk of falling.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

drug interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.Some products that may interact with this drug include: antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream, ointment, spray).Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or other antihistamines (such as cetirizine, chlorpheniramine).Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including allergy skin test), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.


If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, seizures, widened pupils. In children, mental/mood changes (such as restlessness, irritability, hallucinations) may occur before drowsiness.


Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.

Side Effects of Delsym Cough Suppressant

Dextromethorphan is found in many over-the-counter cough medications. It acts to helps suppress the urge to cough. Despite its general safety, dextromethorphan can have some side effects, which are usually mild. While not addictive, ingestion of large amounts of dextromethorphan can lead to dangerous and potentially life-threatening toxicity. Take dextromethorphan only as directed and discuss any side effects with your doctor.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Nervous System Effects

In addition to reducing your urge to cough, dextromethorphan can affect your nervous system. Dextromethorphan can make you feel drowsy. However, dextromethorphan can make some people feel restless and excitable. Dizziness and lightheadedness may also occur.

Many nervous system symptoms may develop with a dextromethorphan overdose, including confusion, slurred speech, poor coordination and balance, hallucinations, and extreme sleepiness.

Effect on Eyes

The pupils of the eyes naturally expand in response to dim light and constrict in bright light. Dextromethorphan and other drugs can also affect pupil size. In general, dextromethorphan causes pupils to stay constricted, much like narcotics. (See Reference 1) However, some people’s pupils will expand after taking dextromethorphan. Dextromethorphan can also cause your eyes to move back and forth involuntarily, which is called nystagmus. (See Reference 2)

Other Effect

High doses of dextromethorphan can also cause increased sweating. People taking dextromethorphan may also develop high blood pressure. (See Reference 2)


Because dextromethorphan can affect your nervous system, some people use it as a recreational drug. According to an article in a 2004 issue of “Pediatric Emergency Care,” there are four stages of dextromethorphan intoxication 23. The first, which occurs with doses between 100 and 200 mg, causes mild stimulation of the brain and body. The second stage can be achieved with doses between 200 and 400 mg and is described as being similar to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana at the same time. Doses of 300 to 600 mg can cause an “out-of-body” feeling, and doses higher than this can cause hallucinations and altered perceptions, similar to taking the drug ketamine. (See Reference 3)

Delsym Extended Release Cough Suppressant, 12 Hour Orange Flavored Liquid5.0 fl oz

Do not use if you are now taking a prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (certain drugs for depression, psychiatric, or emotional conditions, or Parkinson’s disease), or for 2 weeks after stopping the MAOI drug. If you do not know if your prescription drug contains an MAOI, ask a doctor or pharmacist before taking this product.

Ask a doctor before use if you have

  • chronic cough that lasts as occurring with smoking, asthma or emphysema
  • cough that occurs with too much phlegm (mucus)

Stop use and ask a doctor if cough lasts more than 7 days, cough comes back, or occurs with fever, rash, or headache that lasts. These could be signs of a serious condition.

If pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before use.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.

Each 5 mL contains: sodium 7 mg.

Temporarily relieves

  • cough due to minor throat and bronchial irritation as may occur with the common cold or inhaled irritants
  • the impulse to cough to help you get to sleep


Dextromethorphan (DXM or DM) is an active ingredient in several over-the-counter cough medicines, including generic labels and store brands (TheraFlu, Delsym, Coricidin, Vicks, Dimetapp, Robitussin, Benylin, NyQuil).

Dextromethorphan’s primary use is as a cough suppressant, relieving coughs associated with the flu and the common cold, including minor throat and bronchial irritations.

Dextromethorphan, when combined with quinidine, has also been shown to ease symptoms of easy laughing and crying in patients with multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Dextromethorphan is also used as a recreational drug, taken in higher than prescribed doses to cause hallucinations, distorted perceptions, and excitement.

Dextromethorphan was developed as a non-addictive substitute for codeine by the U.S. Navy and the CIA, and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for over-the-counter use in 1958.

It is sold in tablets, capsules, syrup, solutions, suspensions, spray, and lozenges.

Dextromethorphan ‘High’ and Abuse

A 2008 study found that one in 10 American teenagers has abused products containing DXM in order to get high, making it more popular than cocaine, ecstasy, crystal meth, and LSD.

Parents should check bottles. Abusers may take high doses, 10 to 50 times the suggested amounts, to cause hallucinations and similar effects.

Pharmacies and drug stores have taken steps to increase security surrounding the sale of products containing DXM.

Dextromethorphan Warnings

Dextromethorphan is not effective in treating a cough caused by asthma, smoking, or emphysema. It should not be given to a child under 4 years old.

Dextromethorphan can trigger a histamine release, causing allergic reactions in children, and should be avoided by those with serious allergies.

In March 2011, the FDA issued a safety alert concerning this drug in combination with other drugs, because of potential risks and the possibility of improper use in young children and infants. There are safe alternatives that your pharmacist or doctor can recommend.

If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), you will want to avoid dextromethorphan, which may contain phenylalanine.

Talk with your doctor if you have used an MAO inhibitor within the past 14 days, and tell your doctor if you have any of the following health conditions:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Mucus with cough
  • Slowed breathing

Pregnancy and Dextromethorphan

Pregnant women should avoid dextromethorphan, and the drug can pass into breast milk, so it could be harmful to a nursing baby.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *