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Chemical structures of dextromethorphan (top) and chlorphenamine
Combination of
Dextromethorphan cough suppressant
Chlorphenamine antihistamine
Clinical data
Trade names Coricidin 'D'
Pharmacokinetic data
Metabolism CYP2D6 isozyme of Cytochrome P450

Coricidin, Coricidin 'D' (decongestant), or Coricidin HBP (for high blood pressure), is the name of a drug marketed by Schering-Plough that contains dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) and chlorpheniramine maleate (an antihistamine). Varieties of Coricidin may also contain acetaminophen (an analgesic/antipyretic) and guaifenesin (an expectorant).

Medicinal use[edit]

Coricidin is used to alleviate coughs and includes chlorpheniramine for people with high blood pressure. Other versions of Coricidin are used to reduce fever or as an expectorant. Side effects include diarrhea and hallucination.[1]

Recreational use[edit]

Coricidin is sometimes used in high doses as a recreational drug[citation needed] because it contains the dissociative dextromethorphan. In this context, Coricidin is referred to as C's, Red Devils (Red D's), Skittles, Trips,[2][full citation needed] or Triple C's.

Long-term recreational abuse of dextromethorphan can result in psychosis and erectile dysfunction.[3]

Chlorpheniramine is an anticholinergic that can cause very serious reactions in high doses.[vague][citation needed] This may be compounded by the fact that dextromethorphan and chlorpheniramine are both metabolized by CYP2D6 isozyme of cytochrome P450. This could increase the plasma concentration of both drugs by inhibiting metabolism and increasing blood serum concentrations. Another danger is chlorpheniramine's notably long half life (about a whole day), which may result in high levels of it building up in one's body if Coricidin is abused frequently. Symptoms of withdrawal include memory loss, weight loss, disorientation, irregular sleep schedules including to but not limited to confusion on when the former user originally fell asleep, frequent trips to the bathroom with the illusion of the need to go, increased appetite, vomiting, and lack of ambition due to dependence on the euphoric feeling and increased drive that occurred while using.[medical citation needed]

Use in popular music[edit]

Two Coricidin bottles used as guitar slides (second and third from left)

In the late 1960s, blues-rock guitarist Duane Allman (1946–1971) of The Allman Brothers Band began using an empty glass Coricidin bottle as a guitar slide, finding it to be just the right size and shape for this purpose. Allman learned to play slide guitar when he received two birthday gifts from his brother, Gregg: a copy of Taj Mahal's debut album, with its version of "Statesboro Blues", and a bottle of Coricidin pills (as Duane had a cold that day). Other prominent slide guitarists, such as Derek Trucks (a later member of the Allman Brothers Band), Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rory Gallagher, J. D. Simo, and Gary Rossington also adopted the Coricidin bottle as a slide. Bottles of the type they used were not produced after the early 1980s, but replicas have been produced since 1985.[4][dead link][5][dead link]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold", WebMD. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  2. ^ Henigig, Christian.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Substances of Abuse", Florida Poison Information Center - Tampa. Retrieved 7 jan 2017
  4. ^ Planet Blue Productions ....Home of the Real Bottlenecking Company and the Coricidin Slide, Accessed September 11, 2005 ** may harm your computer -- 02/20/2012 **
  5. ^ Duane Allman (1946–1971), September 11, 2005 ** may harm your computer -- 02/20/2012 **

External links[edit]