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Drugs reference index «benzonatate»

benzonatate


benzonatate (Oral route)

ben-ZOE-na-tate

Commonly used brand name(s):

In the U.S.

  • Tessalon Perles

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Capsule
  • Capsule, Liquid Filled

Therapeutic Class: Antitussive

Uses For benzonatate

Benzonatate is used to relieve coughs due to colds or influenza (flu). It is not to be used for chronic cough that occurs with smoking, asthma, or emphysema or when there is an unusually large amount of mucus or phlegm (pronounced flem) with the cough.

Benzonatate relieves cough by acting directly on the lungs and the breathing passages. It may also act on the cough center in the brain.

benzonatate is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using benzonatate

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For benzonatate, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to benzonatate or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

It is very important that children do not chew or suck on the capsule before swallowing it. If the benzonatate contained in the capsules comes in contact with the mouth, it may cause the mouth and throat to become numb (loss of feeling) and choking may occur.

Geriatric

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of benzonatate in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of benzonatate. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Mucus or phlegm with cough—Since benzonatate decreases coughing, it makes it difficult to get rid of the mucus that may collect in the lungs and airways with some diseases

Proper Use of benzonatate

It is very important that you do not chew or suck on the capsule before swallowing it. If the benzonatate contained in the capsules comes in contact with the mouth, it may cause the mouth and throat to become numb (loss of feeling) and choking may occur.

Dosing

The dose of benzonatate will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of benzonatate. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (capsules):
    • For cough:
      • Adults—100 milligrams (mg) three times a day as needed.
      • Children—
        • Up to 10 years of age: Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
        • 10 years of age and older: 100 mg three times a day as needed.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of benzonatate, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using benzonatate

If your cough has not become better after 7 days or if you have a high fever, skin rash, or continuing headache with the cough, check with your doctor. These signs may mean that you have other medical problems.

benzonatate Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare
  • Confusion
  • signs of hypersensitivity reactions, such as bronchospasm (shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, tightness in chest, and/or wheezing) or laryngospasm (difficulty in speaking or breathing)
  • visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not there)
Symptoms of overdose
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • restlessness
  • trembling

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common or rare
  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • constipation
  • dizziness (mild)
  • drowsiness (mild)
  • headache
  • itching
  • nausea or vomiting
  • skin rash
  • stuffy nose

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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  • benzonatate Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Benzonatate Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Benzonatate Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Benzonatate Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • Benzonatate MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)

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