How Does Delsym Work?At normal dosages, Delsym works mostly in the brain. In particular, it works in the "cough center" located in the brainstem, increasing the "cough threshold." This action suppresses coughing. Delsym is different from other formulations of dextromethorphan, in that it comes in a special long-acting liquid. Some of the medicine is released immediately after a dose, providing fast relief, but some of the dextromethorphan is contained in specially coated particles that dissolve slowly in the intestines, providing long-lasting relief.
Dextromethorphan is chemically related to morphine and other opioids, but it does not share the pain-relieving and addictive effects of other opioids. However, despite the lack of addictive effects, the medication may be abused. At higher dosages, Delsym works as a hallucinogen, much like phencyclidine (PCP or "angel dust").
Can Children Use It?Delsym is approved for use in children as young as four years old. Talk with your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using Delsym in children.
Off-Label Uses of DelsymOn occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this product for something other than treating a cough. This would be known as an "off-label" use. There has been some interest in using Delsym or other forms of dextromethorphan off-label to treat the following conditions:
- Nerve pain
- Pseudobulbar affect
- Parkinson's disease.