Common cold drug used in teen overdoses

Coricidin used by teens for overdose. (WDTN- Beairshelle Edmé)

CELINA, Ohio (WDTN) – Officials are warning parents about a new threat to your kids that could be sitting in your cabinets

Celina police say several children are now hospitalized after an over the counter drug overdose.

At least three teens were hospitalized because of Coricidin Cold and Cough, called Triple C by kids.

It is a common cold medicine for people with high blood pressure, however kids are abusing the drug and getting access to it without parents knowing.

2 NEWS asked how dangerous can this drug be when taken improperly?

“The dangers of the drug are significant. It can lead to comas, seizures, death, arrhythmias, pretty significant side effects,” said Dr. Kryzmarzick, emergency medical director for Dayton Children’s Hospital.

The physician added it is not a common drug overdose, but for teenagers the drug is easily accessed and gives a quick high.

In the 90s and early 2000s a substance, dextromethorphan, commonly referred to as DMX, was added to cold medicines to help with the coughing.

At that time,  teens quickly discovered that strong doses and high usage could lead to an easy high.

Decades later, teens have now found that same substance in Coricidin, a pill form that doesn’t come with the odor or bad taste that many cough syrups do.

Kryzmarzick said it commonly takes one box to do the trick for most teens.

Additionally, online they’ll find all the tools to get the exact high their looking for.

“Before we had this discussion, I had never done this before but I typed it in and up– the number one spot that popped up was how to overdose– how to give yourself a high on this and it told you how much you should take before you could put yourself at health risk,” said the doctor.

Celina’s Police Chief Tom Wale told 2 NEWS teens need to think before experimenting with such a dangerous drug because there could be medical and criminal consequences.

“They can be charged that would be entirely up to the Mercer County prosecution office,” said the chief. “They could be facing you know drug abuse charges.”

Three tips can help you protect your teen from this potentially fatal drug:

  • Monitor any mood or behavior changes, which  could be associated with using the drug.
  • Lock your medication away in safe places.
  • Talk with your child about dangers of drugs.

Officials and doctors told 2 NEWS that these tips can be the best way to saving your child’s life.

Local pharmacists we spoke with said this behavior hasn’t been seen yet in Dayton.

However many states and jurisdictions have placed restrictions on how many boxes you can buy; Ohio is not one of them. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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