Children's Hospital Colorado

Dextromethorphan Dose Table

Child's weight (pounds) 30-47 48-63 64-79 80-95 96-129 130+ lbs
Liquid 5 mg/ 5 milliliters (mL) 5 7.5 10 12.5 15 -- mL
Liquid 5 mg/ 1 teaspoon (tsp) 1 2 3 -- tsp
Liquid 7.5 mg/ 5 milliliters (mL) -- 5 5 7.5 10 15 mL
Liquid 7.5 mg/ 1 teaspoon (tsp) -- 1 1 2 3 tsp
Liquid 10 mg/ 5 milliliters (mL) -- -- 5 5 7.5 10 mL
Liquid 10 mg/ 1 teaspoon (tsp) -- -- 1 1 2 tsp

When to Use. Treatment of bad coughs. Dextromethorphan (DM) is present in most cough syrups.

Table Notes:

  • Age Limits. Don't use under 4 years of age (FDA recommendation 2008).
  • Over 4 years of age, not advised as first treatment of cough. Use honey instead.
  • If under 6 years, don't give products with more than one ingredient in them (FDA recommendation 2008).
  • Dose. Find the child's weight in the top row of the dose table. Look below the correct weight for the dose based on the product you have.
  • Measure the Dose. Syringes and droppers are better to use than teaspoons. If possible, use the syringe or dropper that comes with the medicine. If not, you can get a med syringe at a drug store. If you use a teaspoon, it should be a measuring spoon. Reason: regular spoons are not reliable. Keep in mind 1 level teaspoon equals 5 mL and that ½ teaspoon equals 2.5 mL.
  • How Often. Repeat every 6-8 hours as needed.
  • Adult Dose: 20 mg.
  • Use in Countries Outside the U.S. Dose tables are based on U.S. products. Concentrations may vary in countries outside the U.S. Always check the concentration is the same before using this dose table.


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