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Coricidin, Coricidin 'D' (decongestant), or CoricidinHBP (for high blood pressure), is the name of a drug marketed by Schering-Plough that contains dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) and chlorpheniramine maleate (an antihistamine). Varieties of Coricidin may also contain acetaminophen (an analgesic/antipyretic) and guaifenesin (an expectorant).
Coricidin is used to alleviate coughs and includes chlorpheniramine for people with high blood pressure. Other versions of Coricidin are used to reduce fever or as an expectorant.
Coricidin is sometimes used in high doses as a recreational drug because it contains the dissociative dextromethorphan. In this context, Coricidin is referred to as C's, Red Devils (Red D's), Skittles, Trips, or Triple C's.
Chlorpheniramine is an anticholinergic that can cause very serious reactions in high doses. This may be compounded by the fact that dextromethorphan and chlorpheniramine are both metabolized by CYP2D6 isozyme of Cytochrome P450. This could increase the plasma concentration of both drugs by inhibiting metabolism and increasing blood serum concentrations. Another danger is chlorpheniramine's notably long half life (about a whole day), which may result in high levels of it building up in one's body if Coricidin is abused frequently. Fatalities have resulted from overdoses of chlorpheniramine.
In the late 1960s, blues-rock guitarist Duane Allman (1946–1971) of The Allman Brothers Band began using an empty glass Coricidin bottle as a guitar slide, finding it to be just the right size and shape for this purpose. Other prominent slide guitarists, such as Derek Trucks, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rory Gallagher, and Gary Rossington adopted the Coricidin bottle as well, but such bottles eventually went out of production in the early 1980s (although replicas have been produced since 1985).