Pop Culture dictionary

Coricidin

or DXM or Skittles or Triple C’s or Dex [kohr-uh-see-din]

What does Coricidin mean?

Coricidin is an over-the-counter cough and cold medicine that is sometimes abused recreationally to get high.

Early formulations of Coricidin did not include dextromethorphan (or DXM), the ingredient which provides the effects sought by recreational users. However, by the early 1980s, Coricidin came to include DXM.

Where does Coricidin come from?

coricidin
Coricidin

Coricidin was introduced as a cough and cold medicine in 1949. The drug was mentioned in the North Carolina Medical Journal that same year for its promise in treating the common cold. The name was registered as a trademark in 1950.

DXM itself was approved by the FDA in 1958. A 1976 article in Clinical Toxicology suggested DXM had the potential to be abused. Coricidin came to include DXM by the early 1980s. The internet may have helped foster the recreational use of Coricidin. Users on usenet’s alt.drugs.chemistry group discussed extracting DXM from Coricidin pills in 1995. A DXM FAQ warned against using Coricidin in 1998. Several users of the drug information website Erowid reported on their Coricidin experiences in the early 2000s.

Around this time, major news outlets began to comment on Coricidin use among teenagers. As part of a larger body of reporting on the abuse of cough medicines by younger people, CBS ran a story on the subject in 2003, with 20/20 and The Christian Science Monitor both following suit in 2004.

Examples of Coricidin

I hope you’re feeling better, Nicole. I’m not exactly sure what you have, but I faithfully take Coricidin cold medicine.
@Dave_D87, February, 2018
jesus christ we used to do k2 and bath salts and all the trailer park drugs. Nothing was worse than taking an entire package of Coricidin and tripping for like 4 hours
@tweetinpat, February, 2018
This [Duane Allman first hearing Taj Mahal] coincided with brother Gregg delivering a bottle of Coricidin pills to a flu-ridden Duane who started experimenting with the empty pill bottle as a slide. The rest is slide history.
Jeff Masey, Reverb, May, 2017
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Who uses Coricidin?

Coricidin is used both by those who use the drug as recommended by a doctor and those who use the drug recreationally. Those who use Coricidin recreationally, often teenagers, may also call the pills Skittles, Triple C’s or Dex. Triple C stands for Coricidin Cough & Cold.

Unrelatedly, guitarist Duane Allman used an empty Coricidin bottle to play slide guitar. That made the bottles and their replicas popular with guitarists.

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Note

This is not meant to be a formal definition of Coricidin like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Coricidin that will help our users expand their word mastery.