First Exposure


Information last updated: May 2023 

The baseline risk of major birth defects in Canada is 3-5%. This means that 3-5 out of 100 babies born in the general population in Canada will be born with a major birth defect. There are also baseline risks for miscarriages (15-25 out of 100 pregnancies), prematurity and other outcomes. The information provided will summarize if taking this drug is likely to change these risks.

Summary: Approximately 1500 pregnancies with exposure to dextromethorphan were included in published studies. Based on these studies it is not expected that taking dextromethorphan during pregnancy will cause more babies to be born with birth defects than in the general population.

This information about dextromethorphan is of a general nature and about medical use and does not replace the medical care and advice from your healthcare provider. For questions on dose, timing, side effects, interactions, etc. please consult your healthcare provider. If you are using dextromethorphan or other drugs or medications for non-medical reasons or beyond what was recommended by a healthcare provider, please see Harm Reduction section.

Although participants in the studies may have used dextromethorphan in various combinations, the studies usually do not provide detailed information on drug combinations. This makes it challenging to comment on the safety of using this medication in combination with others during pregnancy or lactation.