Mucinex DM – Dosage – Side Effects – Facts – DXM Abuse & Risks

mucinex package box

Mucinex DM® is an over-the-counter medication used to alleviate coughing caused by bronchitis, colds or other respiratory illnesses. It is not meant to suppress coughs due to smoking. Containing guaifenesin (an expectorant) and dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), this durg is one of many OTC drugs abused for dextromethorphan’s sedating effects.

  • This drug is one of many OTC drugs abused for dextromethorphan’s sedating effects.
  • It is not meant to suppress coughs due to smoking.
  •  It contains guaifenesin (expectorant) and dextromethorphan (cough suppressant).

Directions Dosages & Ingredients

  • Recommended dosage (adults) is one to one capsules every 12 hours.

Directions: Do not crush, chew, or break tablet. Take with a full glass of water. This product can be administered without regard for timing of meals. Adults and children 12 years and older: 1 tablet every 12 hours; not more than 2 tablets in 24 hours  Children under 12 years of age, do not use (per manufacturer).

Active Ingredients:

  • Guaifenesin – 600mg
  • Dextromethorphan – 30mg

Mixing Mucinex DM Alcohol

Drinking alcohol and taking Mucinex DM will increase severity of side effects impacting the central nervous system, especially the ability to stay awake, walk or drive a car. DM abusers have a higher risk of overdosing on DM with alcohol since they may forget how much Mucinex they have taken and consume more while drinking.

  • Convulsions, coma and death could occur when mixing alcohol with any OTC medication containing DM, coma and death could occur when mixing alcohol with any OTC medication containing this drug.


Designated as a morphinian drug, destromethorphan (DM) has a chemical structure similar to psychoactive drugs such as opiate painkillers and hallucinogens. When taken in higher than prescribed dosages, DM acts like a dissociative anesthetic by increasing levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain involved with mood and motivation. In addition, DM stimulates NMDA receptors, an action known to induce ketamine-like dissociative anesthesia.

Abusing it may create a psychological addiction to the drug but not a physical dependence. Although less addictive than codeine, DM can produce symptoms of antidepressant discontinuation syndrome (ADS) commonly seen in people who abruptly stop taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Symptoms of ADS include nausea, vomiting, sweating, headaches, insomnia, joint pain and dizziness.

Is DXM a Controlled Substance?

No. Currently, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency does not consider DXM a substance posing an abuse or addictive threat. This may be due to the fact dextromethorphan is not physically addicting. With increasing numbers of teens abusing OTC medications containing dextromethorphan, the DEA could begin investigating the addictive properties of DXM.

Slang Terms for Mucinex DM

Teenagers abusing DM often use slang terms. Some of these include;

  • “Dex”
  • “Orange Crush”
  • “red devils”
  • “vitamin D”

Side Effects of Dextromethorphan

Recommended dosage of Mucinex DM is one to two capsules every 12 hours. People who abuse DM may take triple this dosage or more in a 12 hour time frame. They may also combine DM with alcohol or other drug to enhance its effects.

Extreme drowsiness, euphoria, a feeling of being “outside” the body and whole body numbness are common side effects of abusing DM. Overdosing on DM may cause one or more of the following:

  • Restlessness/agitation
  • Rapid speech
  • Increased sense of confidence
  • Faintness
  • Glassy eyes/dilated pupils
  • Double vision
  • Profuse sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Teeth-grinding
  • Tachycardia (extremely rapid heartbeat)
  • Shallow, quick breathing
  • Muscle cramps/spasms
  • Blackouts

Other OTC Medicines Containing Dextromethorphan

OTC cough and cold drugs with DM include Alka Seltzer Plus, Coricidin, Dimetapp, Robitussin, Tylenol Cough & Cold and Theraflu. Coricidin and Mucinex DM are the two most popular DM-containing medicines abused by teens. In fact, current studies reveal that one in four teensknow somebody who abuses Mucinex DM or other OTC drugs containing DM to get high.





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Questions? Call 866-MUCINEX (1-866-682-4639)