Cold Home > Dextromethorphan Side Effects

Notify your healthcare provider right away if you are taking dextromethorphan and develop potentially serious problems, such as depression, irregular breathing, or slurred speech. In most cases, people tolerate this medication well; if reactions occur, they are generally mild and easy to treat. Other possible side effects of dextromethorphan may include nausea, fatigue, and dizziness.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Dextromethorphan

Just like any medicine, dextromethorphan can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with dextromethorphan. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Serious Dextromethorphan Side Effects

Some side effects of this drug are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Psychosis, paranoia, or unusual thoughts or behaviors
  • Changes in mood, such as:
  • Slowed or irregular breathing
  • Feeling the need to use more dextromethorphan than needed, or use it for a nonmedical reason
  • Muscle twitching or contractions
  • Slurred speech
  • Signs of serotonin syndrome (a rare but dangerous problem associated with medications that affect serotonin), such as:
    • Agitation
    • Confusion
    • Coordination problems
    • Tremors
    • Shivering
    • Sweating
    • Fever
    • Overactive reflexes
    • Muscle rigidity
    • Coma
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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