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Pet Medication 101: Robitussin

robitussin for coughing dog

It’s important to understand a medication’s uses and side effects before giving it to your pet. This medication info sheet is meant to give you a good understanding of what Robitussin (dextromethorphan) is used for, how it works, and potential side effects in cats and dogs. Always consult a veterinarian before giving your pet any medication.

1. Drug Name:


2. Brand Names:

Robitussin, Delsym, Balminil, Benylin, Sucrets

3. How Dispensed:

Over the counter

4. Forms:

15mg tablets; 15mg and 25mg capsules; 5mg/5mL, 7.5mg/5mL, 10mg/5mL, 15mg/5mL, and 20mg/15mL oral liquid/syrup; 30mg/5mL extended release liquid; 5mg, 7.5mg, and 15mg lozenges; and 7.5mg oral strips

5. Drug Type/Class:


6. Uses in Dogs and Cats:

Cough suppressant

7. How it Works:

Dextromethorphan increases the cough threshold in the part of the brain that triggers a coughing reflex

8. Side Effects and/or Signs of Overdose:

Vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, sleepiness, drooling, anxiousness

Signs of overdose include rapid heartbeat, collapse, incoordination, muscle tremors, seizures, facial swelling, and hives.

9. Drug Interactions:

  • Buspirone
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Metoclopramide
  • Naloxone
  • Selegiline
  • Terbinafine
  • Tramadol
  • Trazodone

10. Cautionary Statements:

  • Never give your dog Robitussin without the approval of your veterinarian.
  • Robitussin has not been evaluated for safety during pregnancy or lactation and should be used with caution in either situation.
  • Use with caution in pets with liver disease or skin allergies (atopy).
  • Use with caution in patients with chronic coughs or wet coughs.
  • Should not be used concurrently with Amitraz-containing collars.

Read more:

Kennel Cough

Common Causes of Coughing in Dogs

Causes and Treatment for Coughing in Cats

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