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Cough Medicine Ingredient May Get New Restrictions: FDA

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Restrictions on a cough medicine ingredient are being considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in order to combat growing abuse.

On Tuesday, the agency posted its review of dextromethorphan, an ingredient in more than 100 over-the-counter medications. The FDA said that inappropriate use of the drug for its euphoric effects was associated with nearly 8,000 emergency room visits in 2008, an increase of more than 70 percent from 2004, the Associated Press reported.

High doses of dextromethorphan can cause fever and boost blood pressure and heart rate.

"Because of the drug's perceived safety, ease of availability, and desired psychoactive effects, it is sought after by those seeking to alter their mental state," according to the FDA review, the AP reported.

On Sept. 14, an FDA panel of outside experts will meet to discuss whether dextromethorphan should be available only by prescription. The FDA typically follows the advice of these advisory panels.

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