If you have a bothersome cough, you may benefit from Delsym, a nonprescription, long-lasting cough suppressant. This medicine comes in the form of a liquid and is specifically designed to release some of the medication immediately and then the rest of the medicine over a 12-hour period. Some of the possible side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, and an upset stomach.
What Is Delsym?Delsym® (dextromethorphan polistirex) is a nonprescription cough medication. It is a long-acting product that is taken just twice a day to suppress coughing. In fact, it is the only 12-hour, over-the-counter (OTC) cough medication available in the United States.
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 medication 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").