Side Effects of Triple C's


Coricidin Cough and Cold is an over-the-counter cold medication that has a high risk of abuse because of its ingredient dextromethorphan (DXM). Users commonly refer to the tablets as "triple c's," and it is taken in much higher quantities than intended to achieve intoxicating effects, including visual distortions, euphoria and, at high dosages, dissociation.

Positive Effects

Positive effects include mood elevation, increase in tactile sensation, mild hallucinations and, in higher dosages, closed-eye visuals and dissociation of mind and body may occur.

Mental Health

Panic attacks are a common side effect. In some cases, symptoms of psychosis and/or mania may surface.


Cardiovascular effects are common, including high blood pressure and increased heart rate. In severe cases, a stroke can occur.


Nausea, vomiting and upset stomach are common side effects of Coricidin misuse. These side effects, while unpleasant, are not fatal.

Chlorpheniramine Maleate

Coricidin also contains chlorpheniramine maleate, an antihistamine that can cause seizures, vaginal and rectal bleeding and loss of consciousness, and in severe cases can result in death.


Taking certain antidepressants, including SSRIs (such as Prozac, Paxil or Celexa) and MAOIs can result in serotonin syndrome, a serious condition that occurs due to an excess of serotonin. Symptoms include muscle rigidity, fever, agitation, and in severe cases, coma or death.

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