CHPA Applauds Senate Introduction of DXM Abuse Prevention Act

Washington, D.C. (May 26, 2016) – The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is pleased to lend its strong support for the DXM Abuse Prevention Act (S. 2994), introduced into the U.S. Senate by Senators Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

The introduction of this bill marks an important bipartisan effort to prevent teen abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, commonly referred to as DXM. The bill would establish a national, age-18 requirement for the purchase of medicines containing DXM. This bill was previously introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Reps.  Bill Johnson (R-OH) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) on July 28, 2015.

“This bill is an important step to prevent abuse among teens, while continuing to ensure access for the millions of adults and families who responsibly use products containing DXM to relieve common cough symptoms,” CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville said. “We are extremely thankful for the leadership from Senators Casey and Murkowski and encourage the Senate to pass this bill.”

DXM is a safe and effective cough suppressant found in more than 100 cough and cold medicines. While millions of Americans rely on these medicines to relieve cough and cold symptoms, the 2015 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Monitoring the Future study, reported that approximately one in 30 teens admits to abusing DXM to get high. Teens report taking 25 times or more of the recommended dose when abusing these medicines. Often referred to by the slang terms dexing, Robotripping, or Triple C’s, abuse of DXM leads to side effects including nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, blurred vision, and disorientation.

CHPA has long supported national educational efforts to curb teen OTC cough medicine abuse through its education campaign, which includes collaborations with The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), National Association of School Nurses (NASN), D.A.R.E. America, and others.

To learn more about the side effects of DXM abuse and to obtain access to toolkits, brochures, and other educational materials for parents and community leaders, visit                                     

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 135-year-old trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to promoting the increasingly vital role of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements in America’s healthcare system through science, education, and advocacy.


Contact:Jenni Roberson 202.429.9260