CHPA Statement Regarding Use of Dextromethorphan and COVID-19

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Press Releases and Statements | May 6, 2020

“There is currently no clinical data indicating that the cough suppressant dextromethorphan has a pro-viral effect in people with COVID-19 infection. The study results published in Nature are experimental, preliminary, and not conclusive. The Nature article is based on a hypothesis generating non-clinical study. Further research and clinical data are required in the context of COVID-19, and in fact, senior author Dr. Nevan Krogan stated, ‘I cannot stress this enough, more tests are needed to determine if cough syrup with this ingredient should be avoided by someone who has COVID-19.’ 

“In this study, researchers looked at how 69 drug compounds interacted with COVID-19 proteins using cells grown in a laboratory and performed two sets of experiments; only one found a pro-viral effect with dextromethorphan. These experimental findings do not establish an adequate scientific basis to suggest that use of dextromethorphan-containing products promotes COVID-19 infection.

 “Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing dextromethorphan are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are safe and effective if used according to the Drug Facts label. If an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 they should reach out to their healthcare provider immediately to get tested and treated appropriately.”

Founded in 1881, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system more than $7, contributing a total of $146 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.