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Article Summary

DXM Drug Testing

Tested for in Standard Drug Tests? NO
Tested for in Extended Drug Tests? NO
Possible to Test for? Yes
Will Trigger Tests for Other Substances? Possible : PCP & Opiates
Detection Period in Urine unknown (3-5 days?)
Marquis Reaction Emits a small amount of smoke first, then turns the reagent black after 5-10 seconds.

DXM is not specifically tested for in most drug tests. Because DXM is not illegal, there is not much concern about the possibility that companies may specifically test for it, however we have received several reports that the presence of high levels of DXM may cause false positives for PCP and/or Opiates. This is a complex issue with no definitive answers...see below for more information.

Because of the rise of media attention on DXM and Coricidin (DXM + CPM) use by teens, it is now becoming more common for drug testing companies to offer a test for DXM (2004).


We have heard speculation that DXM may cause false positives for both PCP and Opiates in standard urine tests. After doing a bit of research on the web we found a small handful of references on the topic. Most of these support the possibility that DXM may cause false positives, but the only peer reviewed journal article refutes that normal doses of DXM cause false positives for Opiates.

Erowid has received one report of an individual who tested positive for PCP a few hours after ingesting DXM.(1) Another report was posted to usenet where an individual purchased and ingested a medium-high dose DXM powder. He ended up in the emergency room where he tested positive for both PCP and Opiates. His conclusion was that the DXM powder he had purchased was not pure, but there is every reason to believe that it may have been pure DXM which caused both of these false positives.

The one peer reviewed study which we found tested normal label recommended cough suppressant doses of DXM. They tested twenty individuals after either 20 or 40 mg doses of DXM and found that none tested positive for Opiates 72 hours later (using EMIT).(3) Obviously this is a significantly lower dose than most recreational users choose. The primary thing this tells us is that it might be difficult to use medicinal DXM use as an excuse for testing positive for Opiates.

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