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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking dextromethorphan?
Do not use dextromethorphan if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take dextromethorphan before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist about using this medicine if you have emphysema or chronic bronchitis.
This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
This medication may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Artificially-sweetened liquid forms of cough medicine may contain phenylalanine. This would be important to know if you have phenylketonuria (PKU). Check the ingredients and warnings on the medication label if you are concerned about phenylalanine.
How should I take dextromethorphan?
Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended. Cough medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough or cold medicine in very young children.
Measure the liquid form of this medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Allow the dextromethorphan lozenge or disintegrating strip to dissolve in your mouth.
Drink extra fluids to help loosen the congestion and lubricate your throat while you are taking this medication.
If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time if you have taken a cough medicine within the past few days.
Store dextromethorphan at room temperature, away from heat, light, and moisture.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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