Delsym cough medicine

If you are the type that has a frequent cough, it will force you to seek the best cough medicine to get rid of the hack.

Although most coughs heal on their own, especially those from cold and flu. Delsym suppressant relieves coughs even faster within a few days.

Delsym is a brand name of dextromethorphan (DXM). An antitussive drug used to relieve coughs from colds and flu.

It acts on the brain part, which causes the cough to subdue it but does not relieve chronic coughs caused by smoking, asthma, etc.

Delsym active ingredients

Every 5 ml of the medication contains dextromethorphan (DXM) that is coated with polistirex. This is equivalent to 30 mg dextromethorphan hydrobromide. (1)

Uses of delsym

  • Delsym is used as a cough suppressant to soothe acute coughs caused by sore throat, bronchial irritation and the common cold.

However, it does not cure the cause of the cough.

  • It is also used for recreational purposes to induce a state of consciousness, for pleasure.

Delsym mechanism of action

Once dextromethorphan is ingested into the body, a certain amount is released into the bloodstream.

The rest dissolves gradually with the help of stomach acid to help relieve cough.

Recommended dosage

Delsym is strictly made for adults and children above 4 years, administering the drugs to children under 4 years may lead to serious side effects.

  • Children of 4 to 6 years should take 2.5 ml in 12 hours, not exceeding 5 ml in 24 hours.
  • Children of 6 to 12 years, 5 ml per 12 hours, a maximum of 10 ml in 24 hours.
  • Adults and children from 12 years and above, 10 ml in 12 hours, a maximum of 20 ml in 24 hours. (2)

Dextromethorphan side effects

At the recommended dosage, dextromethorphan rarely causes serious side effects.

Some of their common side effects are

  • Itching
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Constipation
  • Tiredness
  • Rash

Delsym overdose

Since dextromethorphan is available in over 140 over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, some people may overdose the drug unknowingly.

If taken in excess, it may cause some serious side effects such as

  • Visual hallucinations
  • Liver damage if the drug contains acetaminophen
  • Delusion
  • Fear
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Energy loss
  • Poor motor control
  • Sweating
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Hyperexcitability
  • slurred speech. (3)

Delsym interaction

Certain fruits and medications interact with delsym, they include;

Grapefruit: Eating grapefruit or juice while on delsym treatment is not recommended, it makes the drug stay much longer in your system, causing some effects similar to a drug overdose. (4)

Isocarboxazid (Marplan): using dextromethorphan with Marplan causes psychosis (a strange and unusual behavior). (5)

Other drugs that interact with dextromethorphan include

Tranylcypromine (Parnate). (6)

Manerix (Moclobemide)

Selegiline (Emsam)

Phenelzine (Nardil)

Procarbazine (Matulane)

Rasagiline (Azilect)

Dextromethorphan and alcohol

Both alcohol and delsym are central nervous system depressant, they cause the feeling of relaxation and euphoria.

If you take the two depressants together, their side effects will increase, leading to an overdose.

Some risks associated with mixing alcohol and dextromethorphan are

  • Memory loss
  • Dissociation 
  • Respiratory difficulty
  • Permanent psychosis.

Epilepsy. (7)

Dextromethorphan during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Pregnancy: Delsym should not be used during pregnancy unless when the benefits are greater than the risk.

Always speak with your doctor before taking such a decision.

Breast-feeding: It is still unknown whether dextromethorphan passes into breast milk or not, always speak with your doctor before taking such action.


People with the under listed conditions should avoid delsym

  • Liver problems
  • Caloric undernutrition
  • Acetaminophen overdose
  • Liver failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic idiopathic constipation
  • Acute liver inflammation caused by hepatitis C virus
  • Overactive thyroid gland
  • Angle-closure glaucoma
  • Increased pressure in the eye
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Stenosing peptic ulcer
  • Blocked urinary bladder
  • Systemic mastocytosis

Missed a dose of delsym

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is already close to your next dose, forget the mixed dose and continue with your normal dose.

Don’t take an extra dose to cover up the mixed dose.


Delsym is a cough medication, never use it for other conditions except the prescribed one.

Follow the instructions on the label, or contact your doctor.

Keep the medicine out of the reach of children.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1 Can I take delsym and drive?

Delsym is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that causes a feeling of relaxation and euphoria.

Taking the medicine while driving can make you sleep off, leading to an accident. So, it is not recommended.

2. Can delsym be taking together with Nyquil?

Both delsym and Nyquil contain dextromethorphan as an active ingredient. Taking them together will lead to an overdose which has severe consequences.

Can delsym cause high blood pressure?

Dextromethorphan does not cause high blood pressure at a normal dose. But if an overdose is taken, it may affect the blood vessels, leading to an increase in blood pressure.

Can I use delsym for allergy cough

Yes, delsym can relieve coughs from allergies and those caused by a viral infection. However, it will not treat chronic coughs caused by asthma, and smoking.