Dextromethorphan Pregnancy

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Pregnancy of Dextromethorphan in details

infoPregnancy is always a special situation where every action or side effect of the drug varies when compared to a situation of a non-pregnant patient. It is not only because the pregnant woman's metabolism differs due to the hormonal and other changes happened to her, but also because every medicine or its metabolite passes to the baby and shows its action there. The only thing is, be cautious, attentive and well supervised when you take any single drug in pregnancy. The interactions can vary in pregnancy, and the dosage may differ as well. Strict supervision of the Physician is mandatory.

Dextromethorphan is metabolized in the liver via CYP2D6 and CYP3A enzymes. The activity of both enzymes is increased in the mother during pregnancy (Tracy 2005; Wadelius 1997). In the fetus, CYP2D6 activity is low in the fetal liver and CYP3A4 activity is present by ~17 weeks' gestation (Jacqz-Aigrain 1992).

When an antitussive is needed during pregnancy, Dextromethorphan at standard OTC doses is generally considered acceptable. Some sources recommend use be reserved for significant maternal need; products containing alcohol should be avoided (Chasnoff 1981; Conover 2003; Koren 1998; Ward 2005).

Dextromethorphan breastfeeding

infoWhen a drug is taken when the patient is breast feeding, a part of the drug is secreted in her breast milk and is passed to the baby. The dosage of the medicine to mother and baby are different, and many drugs actions are side effects when you take them without a disease, and what if you the baby takes them without a disease? What if the drug is contraindicated in newborns, infants or children? So, breastfeeding is a very alarming situation when the mother is on medications. Ask your Physician or Pediatrician about the effect of the drug on the baby and how much is excreted in breast milk and if it harms the baby!

There are no data on the excretion of Dextromethorphan into human milk.

Based on the low molecular weight of Dextromethorphan some passage into breast milk probably occurs. However, maternal use of Dextromethorphan products that do not contain alcohol are probably safe to use during breast-feeding.

See references

References for pregnancy information

  1. Debus O, Kurlemann G, Gehrmann J, Krasemann T "Dextromethorphan in pregnancy." Chest 120 (2001): 1038-40
  2. Andaloro VJ, Monaghan DT, Rosenquist TH "Dextromethorphan and other N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists are teratogenic in the avian embryo model." Pediatr Res 43 (1998): 1-7
  3. Einarson A, Lyszkiewicz D, Koren G "The safety of Dextromethorphan in pregnancy - Results of a controlled study." Chest 119 (2001): 466-9
  4. "Product Information. Benylin DM (Dextromethorphan)." Warner Lambert Laboratories, Morris Plains, NJ.
  5. Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ.. "Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 5th ed." Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins (1998):

References for breastfeeding information

  1. Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ.. "Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 5th ed." Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins (1998):
  2. "Product Information. Benylin DM (Dextromethorphan)." Warner Lambert Laboratories, Morris Plains, NJ.



  1. DailyMed. "DEXTROMETHORPHAN HYDROBROMIDE: DailyMed provides trustworthy information about marketed drugs in the United States. DailyMed is the official provider of FDA label information (package inserts).". (accessed September 17, 2018).
  2. PubMed Health. "Vicks 44 Cough Relief: This section provide the link out information of drugs collectetd in PubMed Health. ". (accessed September 17, 2018).
  3. FDA Pharm Classes. "FDA Pharmacological Classification: FDA published a final rule that amended the requirements for the content and format of approved labeling (prescribing information) for human prescription drug and biological products in January 2006.". (accessed September 17, 2018).


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