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More OTC-related cases in ERs

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

U.S. emergency room visits involving abuse of dextromethorphan-containing cough/cold medicines contributed to a 26% increase from 2004 to 2005 in the number of cases related to abuse of OTC and prescription medicines, results of a survey done for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration show. In the 1Drug Abuse Warning Network survey's category of ER cases involving respiratory agents, some of which contain DXM, upper respiratory agent cases increased from 9,433 to 12,613 expectorant cases grew from 1,258 to 2,127 and cases involving other upper respiratory products increased from 1,979 to 4,004, although decongestant-related cases were down, 1,468 to 1,287. The latest Monitoring the Future survey as well as results of a study published in December 2006 also point to growing abuse of DXM products, particularly by young people (2"The Tan Sheet," Dec. 11, 2006, p. 10, and 3"The Tan Sheet," Jan. 1, 2007, p. 8). NSAIDs-related cases increased from 22,959 to 26,050; Ibuprofen-related cases and naproxen cases were both up, according to DAWN. Additionally, acetaminophen-related cases were up to 39,494 from 36,818...

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