Generic Name: benzonatate (oral) (ben ZOE na tate)Brand Names: Tessalon, Tessalon Perles
What is benzonatate?
Benzonatate is a non-narcotic cough medicine. It works by numbing the throat and lungs, making the cough reflex less active.
Benzonatate is used to relieve coughing.
Benzonatate may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about benzonatate?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to benzonatate or topical numbing medicines such as tetracaine or procaine (found in some insect bite and sunburn creams). Never suck or chew on a benzonatate capsule. Swallow the pill whole. Sucking or chewing the capsule may cause your mouth and throat to feel numb or cause other serious side effects.
Serious side effects of benzonatate include choking feeling, chest pain or numbness, feeling like you might pass out, confusion, or hallucinations. Some of these side effects may result from chewing or sucking on a benzonatate capsule.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 10 years old without the advice of a doctor.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking benzonatate?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to benzonatate or topical numbing medicines such as tetracaine or procaine (found in some insect bite and sunburn creams). FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether benzonatate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 10 years old without the advice of a doctor.
How should I take benzonatate?
Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take each dose with a full glass of water. Never suck or chew on a benzonatate capsule. Swallow the pill whole. Sucking or chewing the capsule may cause your mouth and throat to feel numb or cause other serious side effects. Store benzonatate at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
See also: Benzonatate dosage in more detail
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of benzonatate can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include numbness in the mouth or throat, feeling restless or very sleepy, tremors or shaking, or seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while taking benzonatate?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using benzonatate
Benzonatate side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop taking benzonatate and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
Some of these side effects may result from chewing or sucking on a benzonatate capsule.
Less serious side effects may include:
nausea, upset stomach, constipation; or
mild itching or skin rash.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Benzonatate Dosing Information
Usual Adult Dose for Cough:
100 mg orally three times a day. May increase up to 600 mg/day.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Cough:
>10 years:100 mg orally three times a day. May increase up to 600 mg/day.
What other drugs will affect benzonatate?
There may be other drugs that can interact with benzonatate. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about benzonatate.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.08. Revision Date: 4/12/2009 4:38:18 PM.
- benzonatate Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Benzonatate Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Benzonatate Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- Benzonatate Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
- Benzonatate MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)