Dextromethorphan is an antitussive (cough suppressant) available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that control coughs due to minor throat and bronchial irritation, as may occur with the common cold or inhaled irritants. It may be written as dextromethorphan or dextromethorphan hydrobromide, but it is the same active ingredient. Dextromethorphan can be the only active ingredient in a cough suppressant medicine, or it can be found in medicines that treat the multiple symptoms of cough and cold. Dextromethorphan is also available in cough suppressant lozenges, which are considered to be topical products because they are dissolved slowly in the mouth, not swallowed whole.
Dextromethorphan is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label. But just like all medicines, cough suppressants should be taken only as directed and stored in a safe, secure location.