DXM: A Legal High

Disclaimer: Everything I’ve written here is just what I’ve read/heard. I’ve never actually done any. This is because I’ve read that it shouldn’t be taken by someone who uses anti-depressants. So, unlike what I’ve written about other drugs, this blog post is not based on personal experience. Bear this in mind if you’re thinking of taking DXM. Okay?
DXM is dextromethorphan. In small quantities it is a cough suppressant with no narcotic qualities. In larger quantities it acts as a “dissociative anaesthetic” like ketamine or PCP. Apparently, according to the Trip Project:
“A high dose will cause you to feel very spacey and “out of it,” and you may lose motor control (your legs may feel wobbly, for example, or at very high doses you won’t be able to move much at all). It can also produce audio and visual hallucinations, and can sometimes cause nausea and itchy skin.
“Some people use DXM recreationally. When they do, they nearly always do it at home, in bed or on their couch. DXM is definitely not a dance drug.”
Sometimes people are sold DXM pills as ecstasy. DXM can cause heat stroke, as can ecstasy. But the zombied-out feeling you get is nothing like an ecstasy buzz! I know that some rip-off merchants sell ketamine at raves, usually in the guise of something else. So I guess you might buy DXM and think you copped some Special K.
Erowid (something of an internet authority when it comes to this kind of stuff) says:
“People knowledgeable in the field recommend that only products containing DXM alone (sometimes listed as ‘Dextromethorphan hydrobromide’) in the Active Ingredients list should be used.” He lists some active ingredients that should be avoided in particular:
acetaminophen
aspirin
chlorpheniramine maleate
guaifenesin
paracetamol
phenylephrine (hydrochloride)
pseudoephedrine (hydrochloride)
sorbitol
Erowid also advises:
# Do not take DXM if you are using, or have used an MAO Inhibitor within the last 2 weeks.
* MAOI’s include harmine & harmaline, as well as many anti-depressants.
* Check with a doctor if you’re unsure whether you medication contains MAOI’s.
* When combined with MAOI’s, DXM can cause “serotonin syndrome” with fever, hypertension, and arrhythmias.
# Do not take DXM if you are using, or have used an SSRIs within the last 2 weeks.
* SSRIs include many anti-depressants, including Fluoxetine (Prozac), Citalopram (Celexa, Lexapro), Paroxetine (Paxil), and others.
* Check with a doctor if you’re unsure whether you medication is an SSRI.
* When combined with SSRIs, DXM may cause “serotonin syndrome” with fever, hypertension, arrhythmias, etc.
In the UK, a commonly available cough medicine that contains DXM and no other active ingredients is Benylin Dry Coughs Non-Drowsy Syrup. www.netdoctor.co.uk says:
“Benylin dry coughs non-drowsy syrup contains the active ingredient dextromethorphan, which is a type of medicine called a cough suppressant. It is used to suppress a dry, tickly, unproductive cough.”
You’ll find this particular cough syrup in most chemists shops. But be aware that Benylin also makes other medicines for “tickly coughs”. Just remember the name – Benylin dry coughs non-drowsy – and if in any doubt, check that it says on the label on the front of the bottle that it contains Dextromethorphan. If it says that, you’ve got the right stuff. Drink the bottleful, relax on the sofa, and don’t take any anti-depressants or ecstasy. Remember all this, and you’ll probably be okay. If everything I’ve read is true…
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