Delsym is licensed to suppress coughing and is only taken once every 12 hours. Both adults and children as young as four years old can use this nonprescription cough suppressant. Although the active ingredient in it is chemically related to morphine, it does not share the pain-relieving and addictive effects. However, the medication may be abused, as using Delsym at higher doses can cause a hallucinogenic effect.
What Is Delsym Used For?Delsym® (dextromethorphan polistirex) is a nonprescription cough medication. It is a long-acting cough suppressant that is taken just once every 12 hours.
There are two general types of cough medications -- cough suppressants and cough expectorants. If the cough is productive (it produces phlegm or mucus), it may be best to use an expectorant, such as guaifenesin, which will help thin the mucus. If the cough is not productive (it is a "dry" cough), a cough suppressant like Delsym is usually a better choice.
Delsym is a cough suppressant, which means it will help stop the coughing. Keep in mind, however, that it is almost always best to treat the actual cause of the cough. Is there an infection? Is the cough caused by asthma or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)? Is the cough a side effect of another medication, such as an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor?
Before recommending a cough suppressant, your healthcare provider should try to determine the cause of the cough and treat it directly, instead of just covering up the symptoms with a cough suppressant. However, even using this approach, it may be necessary to use a cough suppressant at certain times, such as at night to get some sleep.