(DISCLAIMER: This article wasn’t written under the influence of Robitussin)

The chief ingredient in Robitussin or most other cough medicines offered over the counter in the global West is Dextromethorphan, closely related to nitrous oxide(any good dentist will offer it), Ketamine (one of the few drugs on the WHO’s list of essential medicines), and even ‘angel dust’ AKA the dreaded PCP.

ACETIMENOPHEN is deadly in overdose, DXM (dextromethorphan) is not even close.

In most countries in Asia, DXM is offered over the counter in pure form, or tablet and capsule form, often mixed only with an ingredient that can cause nausea when overdosed, rather than death (in the West, DXM is often offered OTC with Asprin, which can be deadly in overdose — many times more so than DXM itself).

The offering of substances OTC is essentially a way of doing massive studies in medicine, albeit without the paperwork and bureaucracy of academics and political authorities, and this free-market model places more emphasis on the authority of the (less educated) pharmacist than the doctor.

Dextromethorphan (DXM) has stood the test of time.

It is a substance that is still offered OTC in the global West and East, and likely in most African countries too.

Have a cough?

DXM.

Have a fever and vomiting?

DXM.

Indeed, it seems like DXM is combined with every other drug over the counter by chemists in SE Asia, from antibiotics to antihistamines to antivirals and anti-inflammatories (such as basic Aspirin).

Why?

Why do dentists recommend (the cool ones at least) Nitrous Oxide, why is the ‘hot new’ antidepressant in the US a Ketamine based nasal spray, why is Memantine so helpful to those with neurodegeneration, and why is DXM prescribed for numerous maladies in Asia, even health problems not involving a cough?

The reason is simple — NMDA Antagonists are synaptogenic, if not neurogenic.

That means they are basically steroids for the nerves — they help to grow new nerve endings and new nerve connections.

In the subcultural world of electronic musical festivals and raves, the use of Nitrous balloons and Ketamine at the end of the night is popular, and I would argue the reason so is because using these compounds protects the brain from the neurodegenerative effects of drugs such as MDMA and amphetamines.

The numbers speak for themselves, and hundreds of thousands of pharmacists around SE Asia (and beyond) cant be wrong — DXM, and NMDA Antagonist, improve immunomodulatory response.

This class of pharmacological compounds boosts the nervous system, which in turn boosts the robustness of the lymphatic/immune system.

So why is DXM, widely available over the counter in America, not part of any COVID treatment cocktail?

I’ll tell ya why.

Because it is no longer under ‘intellectual’ property right status.

It is an ‘open source’ drug, so the more lucrative path is to invent new drugs that are ‘better’, like vaccines.

But hey, that’s capitalism, amirite?

Not to say I am a communist, just that there has to be a better way than both political ideologies.

Gabriel is a writer, actor, and musician from Los Angeles. Currently, he is based out of Bangkok, Thailand.