No Prescription Requirement for Robitussin


Today, by a vote of 15 to 9, an FDA advisory committee recommended against requiring a prescription for cold remedies containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, even though teenagers have been known to get high by chugalugging the stuff. Since the case for scheduling DXM was quite weak (as I explained earlier this month), this vote shouldn't be surprising. But since psychoactive substances and children were involved, it is. Personally, I can't stand DXM, even in therapeutic doses, but I will defend to the death your right to relieve your cough (or achieve "dissociative sedation") with it.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which failed to save me from state and federal restrictions on pseudoephedrine, celebrates its DXM victory:

Today, 40 million American households turn to dextromethorphan-containing OTC medicines each year to relieve their cough symptoms. More common than heartburn and severe headaches, cough burdens the sufferer, families, and society (as a very rapid way to spread virus).  Because of cough's widespread prevalence and effects, it's vital for people to have OTC access to safe and effective self-treatment. Dextromethorphan is in nearly 90 percent of OTC cough suppressants sold today. We agree that dextromethorphan should not be scheduled as a controlled substance.