What to Know About Schedule V Drugs

The Drug Enforcement Administration in the United States has a classification system for all types of drugs or chemicals used to make drugs in the country. Each of them is categorized and includes a scheduled ranking for each class of substances. One of them is the schedule V drugs which are the least harmful of all substances but still have the potential to be addictive. If you are interested to know what Schedule V Drugs are, then this article will shed light on that.

What are Schedule V Drugs?

Schedule V drugs are drugs, substances, or chemicals that have a lower potential for abuse than other schedule drugs. The drugs in this category have currently accepted medical use in the United States and are generally used for anti-tussive, anti-diarrheal, and analgesic purposes only. Abusing these drugs may lead to limited psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other drugs in schedule IV. Here are examples of schedule V drugs:

  • Robitussin AC or cough preparations with less than 200mg of codeine or per 100 mm.
  • Lyrica
  • Lomotil
  • Motofen
  • Parepectolin

Robitussin Ac

Is a mixture of expectorant and narcotic mainly used to treat cough and reduce chest congestion as caused by the common cold or upper respiratory infections. It is available in generic form as well with side effects of:

  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Facial flushing
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin rash
  • Upset stomach
  • Warmth, tingling sensation on your skin or redness

If you experience mood swings, irregular or fast heart rate, and trouble urinating call your doctor immediately. According to PCS Revenue Cycle Management, a medical billing company in Texas, If the insurance company finds a discrepancy in these symptoms, they can deny the claims. Therefore, the medical coder spends extra time developing these codes as well as cross-checking them for accuracy. They also make sure they are compliant with the standards.


This was originally FDA approved as an anti-epileptic drug or anticonvulsant. This works by slowing down the impulses in the brain of the individual that causes the seizures. It also affects the chemicals of the brain that sends signals of pain in the nervous system. IT is also used to treat fibromyalgia pain or nerve pain in patients with diabetes, spinal cord injury, and herpes zoster as well as other uses.

Lyrica can cause severe allergic reactions so it is crucial that you stop taking this medication and call emergency help if you experience having blisters or hives in your skin, swelling on your lips, face, throat, or tongue. You must also report any NEW symptom to your physician like:

  • Mood swings or behavior changes
  • Anxiety, depression, panic attacks
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feelings of agitation, impulsiveness, irritability, hostile, aggression, restlessness and hyperactivity
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Weak or shallow breathing
  • Blue colored skin, fingers, toes or lips
  • Confusion, weakness and extreme drowsiness
  • Vision problems
  • Skin sores (if diabetic)
  • Swelling of the hands, feet, rapid weight gain
  • Unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness with fever


Is the brand name of diphenoxylate and atropine which is a combination of drugs used to treat the symptoms of acute or chronic diarrhea. It was approved by the FDA in 1960 and was even used by the late President Kennedy and the Apollo Space Team. Lomotil works by slowing down the internal movements of the bowel. Common side effects of Lomotil include:

  • Confusion 
  • Dizziness or depression
  • Dryness of skin, mouth, and nose
  • Euphoria
  • Headache
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea or vomiting

However, you must alert your doctor if your diarrhea continues on for two days or if you have severe symptoms like fever. Among the signs that you should watch out for are the following:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Decreased urination and increased thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Hives
  • Numbness of arms and legs
  • Ongoing pain that radiates at the back
  • Rashes or itching
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the face, eyes, tongue, lips, gums, mouth, hands, ankles, feet, and lower extremities.

If you are experiencing other symptoms not listed, make sure to call emergency services immediately. 


Is also used to treat diarrhea by decreasing the number and frequency of the bowel movements and slowing down the movement of the intestines. Among the most common side effects of this medication are the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness

Serious side effects must be reported immediately and get immediate help if you exhibit the following:

  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Swelling
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Mood swings
  • Restlessness
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the arms and legs
  • Eye pain
  • Swelling of the face
  • Redness
  • Visual changes or seeing rainbows or round lights at night and blurry vision


Is a drug used to treat mild to moderate acute diarrhea. It is also used in chronic diarrhea as a temporary symptomatic treatment until the patient’s etiology is confirmed or determined. It should not be used if the diarrhea is accompanied by bloody stool or mucus in stool and fever. The side effect of parepectolin is constipation and users must discontinue using this if the symptom becomes bothersome. 

Are These Drugs Addictive?

The abuse of schedule 5 drugs is less likely but it can also be problematic mainly because addiction to these substances is difficult to identify. This is also the reason why abuse of schedule V drugs might not exactly appear on common drug tests compared to other substances. 

Let’s say, some cough syrups are on schedule 5, this could also mean that you can readily purchase them from the drug store and even at groceries. Buying one is not a crime but if this is excessively taken and mixed with soda to create a drug called Purple Drank then schedule Vcan become an addictive substance that may cause harmful side effects, addiction, and disorientation

Addiction to schedule 5 drugs still requires support and treatment. The good news is that, detox may be less challenging compared to other illicit substances and the withdrawal symptoms are not as uncomfortable compared to schedule 1 drugs. However, in order to permanently remove this addiction, rehabilitation is needed by addicted individuals. This recovery can be achieved with the help of therapeutic methods like:

  • Individual talk therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Music and art therapy
  • Relapse prevention 
  • Acupuncture and yoga therapy

If you or someone you know has an addiction to schedule V drugs, it’s best to get help immediately. It may not be as dangerous compared to other scheduled drugs but an addiction that lingers for a long time can become one. So reach out to people who can help and put an end to this addiction now, good luck!