antitussive medication of the dissociative class

Dextromethorphan (DXM or DM) is a drug. It is used to prevent coughs in many over-the-counter cold and cough medicines. Dextromethorphan can also be used for pain relief or for psychological conditions. It is sold in syrup, tablet, and lozenge forms, manufactured under several different brand names and generic labels. In its pure form, dextromethorphan is a white powder.


It works by stopping serotonin from going inside of neurons, turning on the Sigma-1 receptor, and stopping norepinephrine from going inside of neurons. When too much is inside a person's body, it can cause dissociative hallucinations, make a person feel good, feeling things wrong, and other things. It does this by doing the things said before but also by blocking NMDA from turning on NMDA receptors (same way Ketamine and Phencyclidine work) and by turning on μ-opioid receptors (same way Heroin and Fentanyl work).[1]


  1. Nguyen, Linda; Thomas, Kelan L.; Lucke-Wold, Brandon P.; Cavendish, John Z.; Crowe, Molly S.; Matsumoto, Rae R. (2016-03-01). "Dextromethorphan: An update on its utility for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders". Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 159: 1–22. doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2016.01.016. ISSN 0163-7258.