pretty much everything I've read about DXM has said that DXM and acetaminophen are a bad combo, and that an overdose of acitomenophen can cause severe liver damage or death. from the DXM FAQ:

3.4 What Happens if I Drink the Wrong Cough Syrup?

If it has gauifenesin (Robitussin DM and generic "DM" syrups have this drug), you'll probably puke your guts up. If it has acetaminophen (paracetamol), you stand a good chance of a painful, prolonged death. Anything else, you're likely to ruin the trip and may end up in the hospital.

just something to keep in mind before (or (god forbid) while) you guzzle down that bottle of nyquil...

I have a number of friends who refuse to take any cold medication because, "It doesn't cure my cold." That is both correct, and foolish. Cold medicine is not supposed to cure a cold, it is supposed to alleviate symptoms. This in turn will allow you to sleep better, suffer less, and you will therefore get better quicker.

Given that, the best cold medicine I have discovered is NyQuil (or any generic that's equivalent to it). NyQuil is supremely effective at making being sick tolerable, by one simple concept: If you are unconscious, you can't feel bad. Other drugs, like Tylenol PM and Benedryl, also work on the same philosophy, but not as well. A good strong dose of NyQuil will leave you near comatose for a minimum of twelve hours, assuming that after twelve hours have passed, someone gives you a shot of adrenaline into your heart. Otherwise, expect a good eighteen hours of blissful uninterrupted sleep. Do this a few times, and your cold will be gone, and it will seem to you as if only a day has passed, when really a week has gone by.

Before going on a NyQuil holiday, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Drink lots and lots of fluid. Most cold medicines are diuretics (they dry you out by making you urinate freqeuently). This keeps your nose and throat nice and open so you can breathe, but also dehydrates you. You don't know how long you'll be under once you take a dose, so drink up like you are about to trek across the Sahara.
  • Cancel any plans you have. You won't be going to work, school, or getting any errands done. You are going to the land of Somnia, and there's no telling when you'll be back.
  • Don't expect to be able to function. You really should not drive, try to get any work done, go into any meetings, or otherwise attempt things that require reasoning or coordination.
  • Once you pass out (about five to seven seconds after swallowing), you will remain in that exact position for about a day. Don't fall asleep with a leg tucked under you or an arm behind your head. It will have to be amptutated, and may be done without waking you. Expect at the very least to wake up with about half a cup of mucousy crud in each eye, and a pool of sweat in any place where one bady part touches another.
  • Try not to sleep with loved ones. To all intents and purposes, you will appear dead, and this really freaks them out.

Having said that, I firmly belive that this is a reliable and safe way of getting over a cold quickly. And it puts enough fun into it that you won't be so pissy about being sick.

Why getting high off NyQuil is dangerous

In my wanderings through life, I've come across people who think taking more than the recommended amount of NyQuil is "fun", and refer to it with giddy laughter. They may be correct, but I doubt they have much of an idea how dangerous this really is, and in my experience, they tend to be teenage girls or depressed housewives, often shying away from all "illegal" drugs, even cannabis, although they often pop prescription meds like there's no tomorrow.

Taking NyQuil in excessive amounts is dangerous for a few reasons, many of which involve the interactions between the four ingredients:

- Acetaminophen 500mg (pain reliever/fever reducer)
- Dextromethorphan HBr 15mg (cough suppressant)
- Doxylamine succinate 6.25mg (antihistamine)
- Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride 30mg (nasal decongestant)

Acetaminophen is by far the worst reason. While it depends totally on the circumstances of your body, taking more than say, 2000mg of acetaminophen can damage your liver, and an overdose can painfully kill you. Although it's unlikely at say, 2500mg, as you go up, it becomes more likely. Any amount is bad news when combined with more than a little alcohol (which is an "inactive" ingredient of NyQuil) or when acetaminophen is used chronically, since any amount can cause small, insignificant amounts of liver damage, which becomes worse over time. Mixing alcohol and acetaminophen is one of the worst things you can do to your liver besides eating huge amounts of death cap mushrooms.

Dextromethorphan HBr is a cough suppresant, and is also taken by itself in huge quantities as a recreational drug and is "relatively" safe in the the sense that it's quite difficult to overdose on, but the DXM is not the issue when you've taken liver destroying amounts of Acetaminophen with it. I have no idea if it does anything with acetaminophen, but I do know that your liver disposes of it.

Doxylamine Succinate is an anti-cholingeric drug, which means it suppresses acetylcholine and interferes with muscle movement, including heart activity, although not usually to a fatal extent. It also causes hallucinations and delerium in large amounts, and anti-cholinergics are just generally just bad and unpleasant for you in high doses. People overdosing on anti-cholingerics have had WEIRD shit happen to them though, such as convulsing all over the floor while puking up blood, and bleeding from various membranes. I have heard of someone who took an anti-cholinergic drug for the "trip", and was bleeding from his eyeballs, although it was a different anti-cholinergic. The hallucinations and mental state provided by anti-cholinergics are not fun and have more in common with being trapped in room full of bugs than an LSD or mushrooms trip.

Pseudoephedrine HCl is closely related to ephedrine. It is a mild stimulant. It's more mild than, say, amphetamines, but more potent than say, caffeine, and is hard on your heart in large amounts.

So, combine the four together in large amounts (with alcohol!), and you certainly get all kinds of synergistic effects. Apparently, when taken together, the four substances create a sort of strange high (actually three, acetaminophen probably doesn't contribute to the "high" of NyQuil, just destroys your liver). Keep in mind, you are taking more than the amount of alcohol present in a standard dose when you take NyQuil in large amounts, and you are combining it with an overdose of acetaminophen, something that affects the liver badly JUST BY ITSELF. I would think that anyone who takes NyQuil in more than the recommended dose is asking for trouble and/or death. If one MUST obtain the high that NyQuil provides, I would recommend obtaining all of the ingredients in NyQuil that are NOT acetaminophen (they are easily available separately), and then doing them together. This isn't "safe", but its certainly safer than quaffing NyQuil.

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