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Robitussin DAC (more commonly known as its generic form, Cheratussin DAC) is a narcotic cold medicine that is available in the United States as a solution. A version without pseudoephedrine is called Robitussin AC. Robitussin products are available over the counter in many countries worldwide. Robitussin DAC/AC is available in the United States by prescription only. Robitussin is manufactured on Darbytown Road in Richmond, Virginia, at a site once owned by the drug's developer, AH Robins; its generic versions are manufactured by Qualitest.
Robitussin was originally produced by AH Robins of Richmond, Virginia. AH Robins was purchased by American Home Products (AHP) in the late 1980s. AHP subsequently merged with the Wyeth Corporation. Wyeth placed manufacturing and marketing of the brand under its Whitehall-Robins Healthcare division. Production was taken over by Pfizer when it acquired Wyeth in 2009.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals sold similar cough syrups (differing slightly in flavor, but pharmacologically identical) under the names "2/G" (a reference to "glyceryl guaiacolate," an older name for guaifenesin) for the base expectorant formulation and "2G/DM" for the guaifenesin/dextromethorphan formulation.
Robitussin DAC is used to treat acute cough, mucus buildup and nasal congestion. Because this medicine contains codeine, it is usually only prescribed when a patient has a painful and persistent cough, and/or one that interferes with the patient's sleep cycle.
Robitussin DAC should not be used by anyone who is allergic to any of the ingredients in it. Overdose may cause breathing problems because of the presence of the opiate codeine. Overdose may also cause cardiac arrhythmia.
Robitussin AC/Cheratussin AC
Robitussin AC is Robitussin DAC without the Pseudoephedrine. The taste mimics cherries but is said to have an unpleasant after-taste. The version of Robitussin AC/Cheratussin AC with Promethazine is usually flavored peach-mint or grape/menthol. These syrups are purple instead of red. Robitussin AC and Cheratussin AC have a 3.5% alcohol content, and the versions with promethazine have 7% alcohol.
An early reference to Robitussin being used as a recreational drug appears in the 1967 song "Hey Grandma" by Moby Grape. Robitussin (spelled as "Robotussin" to avoid trademark issues) appears in the mc chris song "The Tussin (Robotussin)".
Robitussin was the basis of a running gag by Chris Rock in the 1999 DVD Bigger and Blacker in reference to its use when he was growing up, so the children did not have to go to the doctor. Robitussin is also mentioned often in the show Everybody Hates Chris and is used to treat any ailment that the family members may have.
One of the characters in Douglas Coupland's 2006 novel jPod (and the CBC television show of the same name) uses "Chugatussin" as means of getting high, referring to this as "getting 'tussed up." It appears too in Microserfs, another novel of the same author, when one of the characters is addicted to "PayLess Tussin".
In season 2 of the sitcom 2 Broke Girls, Max refers to Robotussin as the only thing she has ever loved. She also claims to have invented the Robotussin smoothie in 2006, which made that "pretty much a blackout year".
Robitussin is mentioned in Trevor Moore's song "What About Mouthwash?".