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Dextromethorphan, an N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist, has been used as cold and cough medication. Serious adverse events with therapeutic doses of dextromethorphan are rarely observed. Here, we report three cases of altered levels of consciousness in children with a therapeutic dose of dextromethorphan. In all three cases, children developed an altered level of consciousness after taking the first dose of syrup dextromethorphan. Children were unresponsive to any verbal command and pain stimuli. Medical history revealed no pre-existing comorbidities. Other systemic, cardiovascular, abdominal, respiratory and nervous system examinations were normal. All patients were hospitalised and managed with symptomatic and supportive care. Dextromethorphan was stopped. After adequate treatment, all of them recovered satisfactorily. The causality assessment was done based on the World Health Organization Uppsala Monitoring Centre causality scale, and it was probable/likely in all three cases. In children, an altered level of consciousness could occur with therapeutic doses of dextromethorphan; hence, health care professionals should prescribe dextromethorphan with extreme caution. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at


Priyanka Pravinbhai Hotha, Rachna Gupta, Manish Narang. Dextromethorphan-Induced Altered Level of Consciousness in Children: A Case Series. Current drug safety. 2023;18(3):389-392

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PMID: 35670336

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