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View Full Version : Coricidin overdose raises concerns

05-22-2004, 03:21 PM
13-year-old boy taken to hospital after taking 17 pills

A 13-year-old boy overdosed Thursday on an over-the-counter cold medication -- an alarming indicator of the new drug of choice among youths.

The teen was taken to Englewood Community Hospital at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday after taking 17 pills of Coricidin HBP, a cold and flu medication containing Dextromethorphan, or DXM, which teens are buying legally and ingesting in large amounts to get high.

DXM became well-known a few years ago when teens began experimenting with Robitussin, another over-the-counter medication. When taken in large doses, DXM is the active ingredient which can provide a "trip similar to an LSD trip," said Amity Chandler, director of Charlotte Alliance for a Safe and Drug-Free Community.

The 13-year-old's eyes were bloodshot, his pupils were dilated and his speech was slurred -- all signs of a Coricidin overdose.

The red pills, referred to as Triple C, Skittles or Little red M & Ms, is becoming a popular drug among today's high school and middle school students, Chandler said.

The alliance recently conducted a survey of area pharmacies to see if any of the stores removed Coricidin from its shelves, prevents those under 18 from buying the medicine or has reported a high number of thefts.

"Very few of them have removed them from the shelves," Chandler said. "Kids can't abuse it if they can't get their hands on it."

The survey produced disappointing results for the alliance. Few of the stores also have an age requirement for Coricidin despite the fact that many of the pharmacies have reported high thefts of the pills.

"We want them to be responsive to our community needs," Chandler said of the pharmacies.

Some grocery stores in Englewood have removed Reddi Whip from their stores because kids are using the product to get high.

Makers of Coricidin HBP, Schering Plough, has taken proactive steps to help pharmacies and communities prevent kids from abusing the product. The company has issued letters to the national pharmacies which offers signs to place on shelves letting patrons know the medicine is available behind the counters.

"We do recognize there's a potential for abuse," said Mary Frances Faraji, vice president of global product communication for Schering Plough. "We recognize the importance of education in helping combat the behavioral aspects of the abuse."

While few local stores are working to keep Coricidin out of kids' hands, there are steps parents can take.

* First, clean out the medicine cabinets at home.

* Look through a child's backpack and belongings.

* Talk to the kids if Coricidin wrappers or pills are found.

Be aware of the following symptoms of Coricidin abuse:

* Hallucinations.

* Disorientation.

* Lethargy.

* Slurred speech.

* Respiratory distress.

An overdose of Coricidin can lead to death.

"It's dangerous," Chandler said.

Charlotte County students have recently told officials about the growing popularity of Coricidin abuse.

Chandler said it often takes "shocking headlines" for the community to become aware of a serious drug problem.

Thursday's Coricidin overdose may be the first for this newest drug fad.

On Coricidin's Web site, the directions advise a child over the age of 12 to take two tablets every six hours. Those under 12 shouldn't take the medication without a doctor's approval.

The 13-year-old boy who took 17 pills of Coricidin HBP on Thursday will recover from the overdose, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office.

Schering Plough has provided parents and teachers with information about the potential for teens to abuse Coricidin HBP. For more information, go to www.coricidinhbp.com and find the link at the bottom of the page about the abuse of Coricidin HBP, a medication developed to provide cold and flu relief for those with high blood pressure who can't take regular decongestants, Faraji said.

http://www.sun-herald.com/NewsArchive2/052...ory=tp3ch17.htm (http://www.sun-herald.com/NewsArchive2/052204/tp3ch17.htm?date=052204&story=tp3ch17.htm)

05-26-2004, 09:14 PM
13 years old and taking 500mg of dxm. The kid obviously knows nothing about dxm and its powers. I bet if the kid took 500mg's in gels he would be blown away with the trip and get scared out of his mind. Fucking kids...what can you do?

06-02-2004, 05:51 PM
Um, Just a little bit of comment...
You shouldn't have to be told if your kids hallucinating to be suspicious that something is wrong... You know what I mean?