Nyquil is an easily obtained medication applied to treat symptoms that arise with such conditions such as sinus problems, bronchitis, the common cold and allergies. It contains antihistamines, nasal decongestants, dextromethorphan and acetaminophen. This medication is supposed to be prescribed for the short term, and if used properly it has few to no bad side effects.
However, when applied for long-term use, the situation changes. The active ingredients can have varying side effects in different individuals, depending on their frequency of use and general health. This abuse of cough medicine is often referred to as skittling or robo-tripping. Following is a number of Nyquil addiction side effects that can result.
Nyquil addiction side effects include those from Dextromethorphan, which when abused in low quantities, produces a state of euphoria. In medium doses, the euphoria is more intense, sometimes with accompanying hallucinations. In high doses, Nyquil addiction side effects include psychosis and fluctuating responses to stimuli. Nyquil addiction side effects are experienced in waves, called plateaus, usually experienced through one continuous intake of Dextromethorphan, that vary in intensity.
The first plateau of Nyquil addiction side effects involves the body being increasingly alert, euphoria, pacing heartbeat, fever, slight intoxication and compromised balance. The second has a higher intoxication effect, hallucinations, semi-consciousness and detachment from the environment. By the third stage, sight is chaotic, speech is impaired, reduced reaction times are experienced, and poor motor skill coordination can result.
The fourth plateau of Nyquil addiction side effects result in loss of motor abilities, delusional hallucinations, loss of vision, a racing heartbeat and increased hearing. As abuse continues at this stage, the hallucinations become intense, with visual and auditory delusions and the patient is incapacitated. The patient may slip into a coma if the intake goes on unmonitored.
Other common Nyquil addiction side effects are insomnia, fatigue, nausea, impaired memory, panic attacks and after prolonged intake of high doses, psychosis. Long-term Nyquil abuse side effects include erectile dysfunction, kidney and liver failure and, ultimately death. DXM, when mixed with alcohol is known to cause complications that lead to death.
When mixed with other cold medications it can cause unprecedented complications. It causes a dangerous rise in blood pressure and heart rate when taken with central nervous system stimulants. It may lead to serotonin toxicity, when combined with serotonergics, a condition that may lead to death. When mixed with alcohol, it may cause decreased respiration and cause an overwhelming depressant side effect.
The artificial sweetener in many cough syrups, usually sorbitol, is known to cause diarrhea and nausea when the drug is taken in recreational doses. Acetaminophen may cause liver damage when taken in large doses, and may lead to failure causing death. Phenylephrine is primarily known to cause hypertension and nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. Its use can cause prostatic hyperplasia and in chronic doses cause rebound hyperemia. Nyquil addiction side effects on patients with a history of epilepsy or on medication to treat this condition may involve seizures.
Pseudoephedrine use in Nyquil is known to cause insomnia, excitability and dizziness. In adverse conditions, it causes high blood pressure, hallucinations, hypertension, compromised vision and seizures. It may also cause severe skin reactions. If mixed with other drugs, especially narcotics, it causes paranoia and psychosis. In rare cases, it has been tied to stroke. Pseudoephedrine use in Nyquil products has, however, been discontinued.