If you’re from the UK you’ve probably experienced the powerful drugs in over-the-counter cough medicines like codeine. In the US abuse of cough medicine hasn’t been quite the same, but nevertheless it looks like the government will make these drugs prescription only, as reported by CNN:
Last year, more than 8,000 people, mostly teens, were treated at emergency rooms because they abused over-the-counter cough suppressants, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Now in an effort to control these substances, the FDA is considering whether to make medicines like Nyquil, Robitussin and Tylenol Cold tablets, prescription drugs.
An FDA advisory committee, which is meeting today in College Park, Maryland will review data, provided to them by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA, which asked for the hearing back in 2007, says it saw a 70 percent increase in emergency room visits between 2004 and 2008, because of teens using large amounts of cough syrup to get high.
The ingredient in these medicines that creates the euphoria is dextromethorphan, also known as “dex” or DXM. It’s found in many products at drug stores. Kids who abuse these suppressants, many times mix them with prescription drugs or marijuana, according to experts. The practice has a few names including “robotripping”. The combination can cause a spike in heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, and if a child consumes enough of it, it can be deadly…
[continues at CNN]