Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can prolonged abuse of coughe medicine cause permanent mental illness?"
What types of illnesses?
I am not aware of any mental illnesses that can be developed by the use of cough medicines. This is true even with the prolonged use of cough medicines. I suppose the most habit-forming and mentally active cough medicine out there is Codeine. Codeine is narcotic medicine that is sometimes used for pain, though it is not a very good pain medicine. It is much more effective as a cough suppressant. If taken in significant amounts, it can cause sedation and can even be habit-forming. However, I do not think that it would cause mental illness per se, and this problem would not be permanent. The other cough medicines such as Tessalon pearls, dextromethorphan, and robitussin, really are not known to cause any of these problems. I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. If you have a cough, the two of you should discuss the safe medicines to suppress the cough and whatever workup you would need to determine the cause of the cough such as a chest x-ray. If your problems or complaints are more associated with this mental illness, the two of you can discuss that as well and discuss whether psychiatry referral is necessary.
Need more info?See a primary care-doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.