DrugFacts: Cough and Cold Medicine Abuse

DrugFacts: Cough and Cold Medicine Abuse
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 Revised May 2014

Some over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription cough and cold medicines contain active ingredients that are psychoactive (mind-altering) at higher-than-recommended dosages and are frequently abused for this purpose. These products may also contain other drugs, such as expectorants and antihistamines, which are dangerous at high doses and compound the dangers of abuse.