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WASHINGTON — Navy Exchange officials have banned sales of certain cough medicines to minors at stores worldwide, officials announced this week.

The move comes as several states consider similar bans and just weeks after the Army and Air Force Exchange Service limited sales of the medicines to anyone under 18.

NEX spokeswoman Kristine Sturkie said clerks will be provided with lists of items containing Dextromethorphan, or DXM, a cough suppressant contained in more than 140 over-the-counter medications.

Anyone under 18 will be told they cannot purchase the medicine, she said.

The Department of Justice has been monitoring DXM since 2004, noting that it has grown as a drug of choice among adolescents over the years because it is inexpensive and relatively easy to obtain.

The Food and Drug Administration has warned abuse of the drug can cause heart problems, brain damage and seizures.

The new rules went into effect this past weekend. Sturkie said the medications will still be available on the shelves at NEX locations, but customers will have to show proof of their age in order to purchase the items.

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