Abuse of Dextromethorphan - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/14/10

Abuse of Dextromethorphan

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By Karin McCay| email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – It was a surprising decision today from an advisory panel to the FDA. Despite an alarming number of teens who are getting high by swallowing bottles of cough medicine. That panel of doctors decided that it would not be a good idea to move all those medications behind the counter in an effort to restrict them to teens because millions of Americans depend on them.

The problem is called robo-tripping, and it involves about 100 over the counter medicines, including Robotussin. That contains the ingredient kids want called Dextromethorphan, or DXM. Today in Washington, an FDA panel heard testimony about the abuse of Dextromethorphan.

The mother of the abuse victim, Misty Fetco said she "noticed an empty bottle of cough medicine in the back seat of his car, but unfortunately by the time I got to his room, I discovered he'd passed away during the night." Health experts say it's become a national problem, with 8% of all teenagers now admitting they've tried it, and with 8 thousand emergency room visits in 2008, that's up 73% in four years.

The symptoms of over-dose can range from mild intoxication to a far more serious irregular heartbeat, seizures, loss of consciousness, even brain damage.

 

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