Does Robitussin DM Have Alcohol In It?
In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not Robitussin DM contains alcohol.
I want to know if Robitussin DM has alcohol in it?
Answered by Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff
Last updated Jun 03, 2023
- Robitussin DM does not contain ethanol, what most people mean when they want to know if a product contains alcohol or not.
- Robitussin DM does contain menthol, a type of alcohol (chemically speaking), but has different effects, and is metabolized differently than ethanol.
Thanks for reaching out to us!
Robitussin DM is a combination product that contains the following active ingredients:
- Dextromethorphan (cough suppressant)
- Guaifenesin (expectorant)
Now, when people ask about a product and whether or not it has alcohol in it, they are generally referring to ethanol, the type of alcohol that is in beverages like wine and beer, etc.
Robitussin DM, manufactured by GSK, does not contain alcohol (ethanol) and is considered alcohol-free in that regard. However, it does contain menthol, which is a type of alcohol.
Below, are the inactive ingredients contained in Robitussin DM:
- Anhydrous citric acid
- Carboxymethylcellulose sodium
- FD&C blue no. 1
- FD&C red no. 40
- Liquid glucose
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Polyethylene glycol
- Propylene glycol
- Purified water
- Sodium benzoate
- Sodium citrate
- Xanthan gum
Below is the full drug label for Robitussin DM:
Is Menthol An Issue?
There are many reasons why someone would want to avoid alcohol in a drug product. Menthol will not show up on a urine test that is looking for ethanol consumption, so it is safe in that regard. It also doesn't tend to cause any negative effects unless consumed in extremely large amounts. However, there have been reports of methol causing issues with breathalyzer tests, but it appears to be relatively uncommon.
If you need to abstain from alcohol (ethanol) consumption, Robitussin DM is safe to use.
Thanks again for your question!
- Robitussin DM Label, Robitussin.com
- Menthol: a natural analgesic compound, PubMed
- Urine Menthol as a Biomarker of Mentholated Cigarette Smoking, PubMed
- Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
- 5831 views
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