23 Feb 2012

Self Medication Guide For Common Illnesses

Read this leaflet carefully before taking your medicine. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any further questions about your medicine.

1.  Generic Name or Active Ingredient:

2.  Uses:

     Available as tablets or syrups to temporarily relieve cough caused by the common cold, flu, or other conditions.

3.  How This Medicine Works:

      Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. It affects the signals in the brain that trigger cough reflex.

4.  Do Not Take This Medicine If:

  • You are allergic to dextromethorphan or any other ingredients in this medication.
  • The patient is a child aged 4 years or below. 

5.  Before You Start To Take This Medicine:

  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are allergic to any other medication.
  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you suffer from the diseases emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, or any other health problems.
  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are or plan to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • Consult a doctor before using this medicine in children. 

6.    Taking With Other Medication:

  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medication, vitamins, herbal preparations or supplements as they may interfere with this medicine.
  • Taking dextromethorphan together with drugs call MAO-inhibitors, such as selegiline and phenelzine, can cause life-threatening reactions. 

7.  How To Take This Medicine:

Follow the directions on your medication label carefully, and ask your pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. (hyperlink DIS)

a)    How to take

  • Take the tablet with a glass of water.
  • Use a syringe or measuring cup to measure the correct dose of syrup to be taken or served to a child. 

b)   When to take

  • As directed by your pharmacist or doctor. 

c)    How long to take

  • Dextromethorphan treats the symptoms of your condition, but it does not cure it.
  • Continue taking it for as long as your doctor tells you 

d)   If you forget to take

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine. Do not double the dose.

8.  While Taking This Medicine: 

a)    Things you should do:

  • Inform your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking dextromethorphan.
  • Consult your doctor if your symptoms persist or worsen despite treatment.
  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you have any allergic reactions to this medication. 

b)   Things you must NOT do:

  • Do not share this medicine with anyone else, even if they appear to have the same condition as you. 

In case of overdose, seek immediate medical attention. 

9.  Side Effects:

All medicines may have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any side effects which are severe or persistent.

      Possible side effects:
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Allergic reaction: hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness 

10. Storage and disposal:

  • Store at room temperature and in a dry place.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Do not use after the expiry date has passed.
  • Return any unused or expired medication to the nearest pharmacy.  

1.    Website:

2.    Micromedex Healthcare Series 2.0

3.    Lexicomp’s Drug Information Handbook 19th edition

4.    Malaysian Index of Medical Specialities  2011

British National Formulary Vol. 60