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Legal Status
by Erowid
Caution :   All legal information should be verified through other sources. [see below]
A bill to restrict bulk sales of Dextromethorphan has been introduced in the US House of Representatives. See HR 5280 : Dextromethorphan Distribution Act of 2006 and Larsen Introduces Bill to Address DXM Abuse.

Dextromethorphan is unscheduled in the United States. It is sold over-the-counter as an approved drug and is legal to buy, possess, and ingest without a license or prescription. Sales for human consumption are regulated by the FDA and each formulation or product requires specific FDA approval. Some individuals who have sold DXM have been convicted of selling misbranded drugs, a federal crime.

DXM is increasingly difficult to purchase around the U.S. Some pharmacies and mega-stores like WalMart have instituted voluntary procedures to reduce the sale of DXM-containing products to minors. Some states have passed laws further regulating DXM-containing products, but it is still unscheduled (legal to purchase and possess without a prescription) in every state as far as we know.

We have received reports from several states around the U.S. that WalMart no longer sells DXM products to people under 18 and often asks for ID from those who wish to purchase it. Some areas are now restricting the maximum number of units (boxes, bottles) of DXM-containing product they will sell to one person.
Arizona #
We have been told that as of November 2007, major chain pharmacies in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas now require that purchasers be 18 years of age or older. (unconfirmed)
Arkansas #
"In Arkansas, purchasers of any product containing Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide (DXM) must be 18 years of age or older and present a photo ID." (unconfirmed) (thanks NR)
California #
Starting Jan 1, 2012, stores are required to check the ID of purchasers of DXM-containing products to prove the buyer is 18 years or older. See (last updated Dec 27 2011)
Colorado #
We have been told that all DXM sales require a valid ID of a person 18 years of age or older. (unconfirmed) (thanks k) (last updated Jun 2 2009)
Connecticut #
We have been told that many stores (especially large chain stores) in the state require that purchasers of DXM-containing products be 18 or older. (unconfirmed) (thanks M)
Florida #
We have been told that stores in central Florida are now restricting the number of DXM-containing product units sold to a single person and not selling DXM-containing products to "kids who look like they're getting high". (unconfirmed) (thanks BP) (last updated Dec 2005)
Georgia #
We have been told that as of Nov 2005 WalMart no longer sells Robitussin products to those under 18 but that other stores still sell the products. (unconfirmed) (thanks DC)
Illinois #
Effective Jan 1 2007, DXM-containing products are banned for sale, delivery, distribution and possession except as over-the-counter remedies complying with FDA safety and labeling standards. [Public Act 094-0800, May 25 2006, Text of law] A May 26 2006 Chicago Tribune article, had reported that the law would take effect immediately. (thanks FE, AH)
Iowa #
We have been told that stores are currently requiring ID and that purchasers of DXM-containing products be 18 or older. (thanks RBD)
Kansas #
As of Jan 2007, we have been told that many larger stores (Dillons, Walmart, Target, etc.) are following the trend of carding people for underage purchasing. The restricted age is set at 18. (thanks D)
Kentucky #
We have been told that DXM cannot be purchased in large chain stores and pharmacies without a photo ID. In some locations people purchasing over-the-counter cough medicines containing DXM are required to be at least 19 years of age. Smaller grocery stores and gas stations do not generally require ID. (unconfirmed) (thanks D)
Michigan #
As of Jan 2006, we have been told that larger chain stores no longer sell DXM or Pseudophedrine products to minors under the age of 18.
Missouri #
We have been told that chain stores (Walmart, Target, etc) required photo ID to purchase DXM products. (unconfirmed)
New Jersey #
Multiple site visitors have reported that nearly every retail store now requires picture ID to prove buyer's age is 18 or over. (Thanks T, J) (last updated July 25, 2019)
New York #
As of Sep 27, 2013, it is illegal in New York state to sell DXM to anyone under the age of 18. See Previously it was "unlawful to give, sell or cause to be given or sold 2 or more containers of medicine containing dextromethorphan to any person under the age of 18." (thanks I) (last updated Feb 4 2014)
North Carolina #
DXM-containing products sold over-the-counter normally in most stores, large national chains may ask for ID. (unconfirmed) (thanks Brannon)
Ohio #
DXM-containing products are available in store aisles but large stores (Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Target, Meijers, Rite-Aid, etc) now require ID, limit sales to two DXM-containing products, and check that purchasers be 18 years old. (thanks TMSD, M)
Oregon #
Although some stores request ID from those who look under 18, there is no law in Oregon requiring this. (unconfirmed) (thanks M) (last updated Sep 7 2011)
Pennsylvania #
Two visitors write that DXM-containing products are available in store aisles but that large stores (Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, etc) now require ID and that purchasers be 18 years old. (thanks Y, R)
South Carolina #
We have been told that some stores in South Carolina reqire photo ID of being 18 to purchase DXM-containing products, and sales are limited to three items at any one time. (unconfirmed) (thanks CC)
Tennessee #
Multiple visitors have told us that larger chain stores are requiring ID and age 18 to purchase. (unconfirmed) (thanks h, LK) (last updated Jun 3 2013)
Texas #
Larger chain stores are requiring ID and age 18 to purchase, other pharmacies sometimes ask, grocery stores are often less strict. (unconfirmed) (thanks LH)
Virginia #
Drug stores may refuse sale of DXM to anyone under 18. Larger chain stores (like WalMart) require ID, but smaller chains seem not to. (unconfirmed) (thanks S, T) (last updated Mar 26, 2012)
Washington D.C. #
DXM products widely available, but frequently stolen items are behind the counter in most stores. Less recreationally used products are commonly on shelves. (unconfirmed) (thanks mw) (last updated Sep 25 2012)
Wisconsin #
Large chain stores like Walmart, Target, etc require photo ID and age 18, but other stores often do not restrict sales. Others say that all stores are requiring ID for any DXM-containing product and limiting sale to 2-3 items per person. Some self-checkout stations do not require ID. (unconfirmed) (thanks j, M, TS) (last updated Apr 5 2013)
If you have information about the legal status of this substance in any other U.S. state, please let us know.

Australia #
DXM is legal as an over-the-counter cough suppressant, but import restrictions on DXM-only products may exist. Multiple visitors have told us that the only product available that is DXM-Only is Robitussin Dry Cough Forte (3mg/ml). There are other DXM-containing products that have other active ingredients. (thanks D, c, O, SG) (last updated Apr 16 2017)
Belgium #
DXM is legal as an over-the-counter cough suppressant without prescription, with no age restriction. 2mg/ml Bronchosedal dextrometorphan available at some pharmacies and contains only DXM. (thanks Mega) (last updated July 11 2018)
Brazil #
DXM-containing products are sold over-the-counter, including Benalet TSC whcih contains 15mg/5ml of liquid. (thanks tm) (last updated Mar 14, 2013)
Canada #
DXM-containing products sold over-the-counter (on shelves, no prescription required, not reserved behind the counter in most cases) in Canada.
China #
As of June, 2013, it appears that Chinese pharmacies require purchasers of DXM-containing products present ID and the products are almost always behind the counter, but no prescription is required. Many pharmacies record the identity of purchaser along with amount purchased. Previously, DXM-containing products were sold over-the-counter in pills and cough syrups in China. Rules tend to be laxer in rural areas. (thanks am) (last updated Sep 2013)
Egypt #
DXM-containing products in Egypt have two main legal statuses. DXM products containing more than 10mg/dose are categorized as a controlled drug that requires prescription. Some products that contain other active substances (such as pseudoephedrine, chlorpheniramine, guaifenesin) are available over the counter. (unconfirmed) (thanks ov) (last updated Sep 24, 2017)
Hong Kong #
We have received conflicting information about DXM sales in Hong Kong. Most recently, a visitor who said they had lived in Hong Kong for seven years and that to purchase DXM does not require a prescription from a doctor, but does require providing the pharmacy with identification. In November 2013, they were told that Robitussin had decided to stop selling their products in HK. (thanks hb) (last updated Nov 28 2013)
Czech Republic #
Received word that some pharmacies require prescription for tabletted DXM, but not for liquid preparations (HUMEX and Robitussin available brands).
Denmark #
DXM is available over-the-counter in pill and liquid form. Liquid 1-3 mg / ml and tablets 15-30 mg per tablet.
Finland #
We have been told that DXM containing cough syrups are sold over-the-counter in Finland, but generally contain sorbitol which acts as a laxative and can cause diarrhea at high doses. Some DXM containing products are legal to possess and can be purchased over-the-counter, but require a permit to sell. Other DXM containing products require a prescription for purchase, perhaps based on the quantity per dosage unit.
France #
Available behind the counter at the pharmacy without a prescription.
Germany #
DXM available without a prescription in pharmacies in both syrup and pills. Rathiopharm-Hustenstiller capsules for example, contains 30 mg per capsule.
Greece #
One visitor reported that DXM is only available by prescription in Greece, but we have no confirmation of that.
Hungary #
We received a report that DXM is legally sold over-the-counter in cough syrup (Robitussin -- 15 mg/ml, 200 ml/bottle), and by prescription in pure capsules (Methor -- 15 mg/caps, 30caps/box). (unconfirmed, thanks DS!)
Iran #
One visitor reports that DXM-only and DXM+pseudoephedrine products are available over the counter without prescripion. (unconfirmed) (thanks n) (last updated Apr 30 2011)
Israel #
Available in popular over-the-counter cough medicines
Japan #
DXM is legal in Japan. As of Aug 1999 we have reports of it being sold in headshops for 5000 to 6000 yen for 2 doses.
Malaysia #
One visitor describes that DXM is a controlled medication in Malaysia and can be purchased from pharmacies and clinics, but is illegal to use recreationally. (unconfirmed) (thanks m) (last updated Feb 29, 2012)
Netherlands #
As of Jan 1 2011, DXM is no longer available over the counter outside of pharmacies, which require that buyers' names are recorded. Daro Retared capsules (29.5mg of DXM) are currently available. See (thanks TvW) (last updated Apr 6 2011)
New Zealand #
DXM is over the counter in New Zealand. ID is not needed for under 18s. The most common product in New Zealand is Robitussin Dry Cough Forte, which is 30mg/10ml DXM hbr only. You can also get Robitussin Dry Cough Gels which come in 20 a pack, 15mg DXM hbr each. (thanks S) (last updated Oct 28 2018)
Poland #
DXM available over-the-counter in Poland. Available in tablets/gelcaps/syrups forms. Tablets are 5-30 mg, syrups 1-3 mg/ml. A few medicines were moved from 'prescription category' to OTC ('Acodin' tablets). Prices in fall of 2003 were approximately Tussidex (15x30 mg gelcaps) - ~2USD, Acodin (30x15 mg pills) - ~2USD, Tussal (10x15 mg pills) - ~1.8 USD. (thanks NE)
Romania #
Pure DXM Prescription-only, liquid forms available over-the-counter (OTC). Sold as "Tussin" and "Tussin Forte" in both pills and syrup. Tussin pills 10 mg DXM and Tussin Forte 20 mg DXM per pill. Tussin Forte costs about 2 USD per 20 tablets. An Erowid reader reports that pharmacies often sell Tussin and Tussin Forte without a prescription in Bucharest, despite the laws. (thanks TB, CW)
Russia (Russian Federation) #
We have been told that DXM has become tightly controlled after a series of high-profile anti-DXM government campaigns. DXM is now a controlled substance in Schedule III. See (thanks x) (last updated Apr 20 2015)
Scotland #
We have been told that DXM is available Over-the-counter in Scotland. (unconfirmed) (thanks M)
Singapore #
We have been told that DXM is Class A prescription drug in Singapore. (thanks A, DK) (last updated Nov 3 2009)
Sweden #
Sweden is planning to control a number of chemicals as of May 1, 2007 including LSA, 2C-T-4, DXM, and DOI. DXM had been available in pure form through online stores in Sweden. DXM-containing products available OTC. (thanks P, LM) (March 2007)
Switzerland #
Dextromethorphan available at pharmacies as Bexine. Over a certain amount of DXM requires a prescription. (unconfirmed) (last updated Feb 28 2014)
Tajikistan #
One visitor reports that he was unable to find any DXM-only products in Tajikistan. (unconfirmed) (thanks n) (last updated Apr 30 2011)
Thailand #
DXM is available behind the counter at the pharmacist. Prescription is obtained from the pharmacist. (thanks RHCN, CH)
Turkey #
One visitor reports that DXM-only products are available by prescription only. (unconfirmed) (thanks n) (last updated Apr 30 2011)
Unied Kingdom (U.K.) #
DXM is specifically exempted from control by the 1971 and 2001 versions of the Misuse of Drugs Act. DXM is listed as a Pharmacy Only Medication and its sale is limited by the discretion of the selling pharmacy. Multiple Erowid readers have told us that pharmacies either refuse or ask questions when buyers try to purchase more than one bottle of medicine containing DXM at one time. (thanks b, t) (last updated Jun 10 2009)
Uzbekistan #
One visitor reports that he was unable to find any DXM-only products in Uzbekistan. (unconfirmed) (thanks n) (last updated Apr 30 2011)
If you have information about the legal status of this substance in any other country, please let us know.

Erowid legal information is a summary of data gathered from site visitors, government documents, websites, and other resources. We are not lawyers and can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided here. We do our best to keep this information correct and up-to-date, but laws are complex and constantly changing. Laws may also vary from one jurisdiction to another (county, state, country, etc)...this list is not comprehensive.