What is Brom PSE DM syrup used for?

Bromfed DM, also known as Brom PSE DM, is an over-the-counter cough and cold medication that contains the active ingredients brompheniramine, phenylephrine and dextromethorphan. It is used to temporarily relieve symptoms associated with the common cold, hay fever, upper respiratory allergies, and sinus congestion such as coughing, stuffy nose, sneezing, runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, headache, and minor body aches and pains. Bromfed DM is available in syrup and capsule formulations.

What are the active ingredients in Bromfed DM?

The active ingredients in Bromfed DM syrup are:

  • Brompheniramine – An antihistamine that helps reduce watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, sneezing, and runny nose.
  • Phenylephrine – A decongestant that constricts blood vessels in the nasal passages, helping to relieve nasal congestion and sinus pressure.
  • Dextromethorphan – A cough suppressant that helps control coughing.

How does Bromfed DM syrup work?

Each of the active ingredients in Bromfed DM syrup works in a different way to provide relief from cold and flu symptoms:

  • Brompheniramine is an antihistamine, meaning it blocks the action of histamine in the body. Histamine is a chemical that is released during allergic reactions and causes symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and itching. By blocking histamine, brompheniramine can reduce these allergy symptoms.
  • Phenylephrine is a decongestant that works by constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages. This helps reduce inflammation and congestion in the nose, sinus cavities, and eustachian tubes in the ears.
  • Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant that works centrally in the brain to raise the threshold for coughing. It helps control coughing symptoms.

When used together in Bromfed DM syrup, these three ingredients provide multi-symptom relief for common cold and flu symptoms like sneezing, coughing, stuffy/runny nose, sinus congestion, and itchy eyes.

What symptoms does Bromfed DM syrup treat?

Bromfed DM syrup is used to temporarily relieve the following cold and allergy symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sinus pressure
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy nose, throat, eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Headache
  • Minor aches and pains

The antihistamine brompheniramine is effective at reducing sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and itching due to allergies or the common cold. The decongestant phenylephrine provides relief from congestion, stuffy nose, and sinus pressure. The cough suppressant dextromethorphan helps control coughing. Together, these ingredients provide relief for upper respiratory symptoms associated with the flu, colds, allergies, and sinusitis.

How should you take Bromfed DM syrup?

Bromfed DM syrup should be taken by mouth as directed on the package labeling or by your doctor. The recommended dosage depends on the age and health of the individual:

  • Adults and children 12 years and over: 10 mL every 4 to 6 hours. Do not exceed 6 doses (60 mL) in 24 hours.
  • Children 6 to under 12 years: 5 mL every 4 to 6 hours. Do not exceed 6 doses (30 mL) in 24 hours.
  • Children under 6 years: Do not use unless directed by a doctor.

Bromfed DM syrup should be measured with an oral syringe, dosage cup, or medicine spoon. For accurate dosing, do not use a household teaspoon. It is best to take the medication with a full glass of water.

This medication may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. Avoid driving or operating machinery after taking the syrup until you know how it affects you. Alcohol may intensify the drowsiness effect and should be avoided while taking Bromfed DM.

How long does it take for Bromfed DM syrup to work?

Bromfed DM syrup typically begins working within 30 to 60 minutes after taking a dose. The effects provide temporary relief of symptoms for 4 to 6 hours.

  • The antihistamine brompheniramine starts working very quickly, within 15 to 30 minutes, to relieve allergy symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing.
  • The decongestant phenylephrine begins working within 30 minutes to relieve nasal and sinus congestion and pressure.
  • The cough suppressant dextromethorphan starts working within 30 to 60 minutes to suppress cough.

You may need to take Bromfed DM for a few days for maximum results as the medications build up in your system. The maximum effects occur after taking it regularly for 2 to 3 days.

What are the side effects of Bromfed DM syrup?

Bromfed DM syrup may cause the following side effects in some people:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth, nose, throat
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blurred vision
  • Restlessness or excitability (especially in children)

More serious side effects are rare but possible. Seek medical attention if you experience:

  • Rash or itching
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Fast, pounding heartbeats
  • Feeling like you might pass out
  • Seizures

Who should not take Bromfed DM syrup?

You should avoid taking Bromfed DM syrup if you have any of the following conditions or circumstances:

  • Allergy or hypersensitivity to brompheniramine, phenylephrine, dextromethorphan or any inactive ingredients in the syrup
  • Severe hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Heart disease including coronary artery disease, angina, or history of heart attack
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Difficulty urinating due to kidney disease
  • Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) – can cause dangerous interactions
  • Taking allergy medication containing an antihistamine already
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding (always consult doctor first)
  • Children under 6 years old

You should also speak with a doctor before taking Bromfed DM syrup if you have any chronic medical conditions, take prescription medications, or are under medical supervision. The doctor can determine if the ingredients are appropriate and safe for you to take and may recommend an alternative medication.

Is it safe to take Bromfed DM syrup while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should speak with their doctor before taking Bromfed DM syrup. The effects on unborn babies or infants are not well studied, so it is best to exercise caution.

The antihistamine brompheniramine does cross the placenta during pregnancy and enter breastmilk after birth. Infants are especially sensitive to antihistamines, so use is typically not recommended while nursing.

The decongestant phenylephrine may decrease blood flow to the placenta during pregnancy, so its safety is unclear. There is also a lack of data on its effects during breastfeeding.

Dextromethorphan has not been well studied for use in pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, it is suspected to cross the placenta during pregnancy and enter breast milk after delivery.

For these reasons, it is usually recommended to avoid Bromfed DM syrup ingredients while pregnant or nursing unless a doctor approves their use after determining the benefits outweigh any potential risks.

Can you give Bromfed DM syrup to children?

Bromfed DM syrup can be given to children 6 years and older. The proper dosage for children 6 to under 12 years is 5 mL every 4 to 6 hours as needed, up to 6 doses in 24 hours. Bromfed DM syrup should not be given to children under 6 years of age.

For children under 6, there are kid-friendly versions of cough and cold medications that contain safe doses of decongestants, cough suppressants, and/or antihistamines. Read labels carefully and always follow dosing instructions. Never give adult medications to babies or young children.

What drugs interact with Bromfed DM syrup?

The following select drugs may potentially interact or have serious interactions with the ingredients in Bromfed DM syrup:

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) like phenelzine and tranylcypromine – can cause dangerous increases in blood pressure
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like fluoxetine or sertraline – can cause increased drowsiness, dizziness
  • Digoxin – levels can increase, causing higher risk of side effects
  • Guanethidine – effectiveness can decrease
  • Methyldopa, reserpine – increased risk of side effects
  • Ricyclovir – increased risk of neurotoxic side effects
  • Theophylline – can inhibit metabolism, increasing levels

Always tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements, and herbs you are taking before starting Bromfed DM syrup. They can review for any potential interactions with the medications.

Is Bromfed DM addictive?

Bromfed DM syrup contains the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, which acts on the brain similarly to codeine and hydrocodone. At high doses, dextromethorphan can have psychoactive effects and be habit-forming. However, when taken at normal recommended cough dosages, dextromethorphan does not typically have abuse potential.

The antihistamine brompheniramine and decongestant phenylephrine in Bromfed DM are not considered addictive or habit-forming when used properly for limited periods of time according to dosage guidelines.

To avoid potential abuse, you should not exceed the maximum recommended doses or duration of use on the Bromfed DM package label. As with any medication, only take Bromfed DM syrup as directed and for the proper intended use to relieve cold symptoms.

Signs of Bromfed DM “overuse”

Although not truly addictive when used correctly, some signs of Bromfed DM “overuse” can include:

  • Taking more than the recommended dosage
  • Frequently using it more often than every 4-6 hours
  • Using it for longer than 1 week (5 days max is recommended)
  • Drinking the syrup to just feel its intoxicating effects
  • Combining it with other cough medicines or alcohol
  • Feeling like you “need” it to function or feel normal
  • Using it for non-medical reasons like getting high

Bromfed DM should be used carefully according to package directions and avoided in those with a history of substance abuse. Speak to your doctor if you have difficulty controlling use of medications like Bromfed DM.

What is the proper dosage for Bromfed DM syrup?

The proper dosage for Bromfed DM syrup depends on the patient’s age:

Age Dosage
Adults and children 12 years and over 10 mL every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Do not exceed 6 doses (60 mL) in 24 hours.
Children 6 to under 12 years 5 mL every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Do not exceed 6 doses (30 mL) in 24 hours.
Children under 6 years Do not use unless directed by a doctor.

Bromfed DM syrup comes with a marked dosing cup or oral syringe that allows accurate measurement of the proper dose. Only use these devices to give an accurate dose, not a regular household teaspoon.

Stick closely to the recommended dosage schedule, with no more than 6 doses spaced 4-6 hours apart in 24 hours. There should be at least 4 hours between doses. Exceeding the recommended dosage can increase the risk of side effects.

Do not take Bromfed DM syrup for longer than 1 week unless directed by your doctor. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical advice.

What precautions should you take when using Bromfed DM syrup?

The following precautions are important when using Bromfed DM syrup:

  • Carefully follow dosage guidelines – do not exceed recommended amounts
  • Measure doses carefully using an oral syringe or marked cup
  • Avoid alcohol while taking this medication
  • Use caution when driving or operating machinery until effects are known
  • Consult doctor before use if you have chronic medical conditions
  • Discontinue use and consult doctor if any unusual reactions occur
  • Protect syrup from light and store at room temperature away from excess heat and moisture
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets
  • Do not use if seal under bottle cap is broken or missing
  • Discard any unused portion after symptoms resolve

Never share or give this medication to others, even if they have similar symptoms. Always consult a doctor before giving Bromfed DM syrup to children under 12 years to ensure proper dosing and usage.


Bromfed DM syrup is an over-the-counter oral medication containing the ingredients brompheniramine, phenylephrine, and dextromethorphan. It provides temporary relief of cough and upper respiratory symptoms associated with allergies, the common cold, and sinusitis. The syrup works by combining an antihistamine, decongestant, and cough suppressant. When used as directed, Bromfed DM syrup can be a safe and effective short-term treatment option for adults and children over 6 years old. However, care should be taken to properly measure doses, avoid exceeding maximum daily amounts, and watch for any potential side effects or interactions with other medications.

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