Benzonatate Uses and Side Effects


Benzonatate is a non-narcotic oral antitussive (cough suppressant) cough medicine used to treat coughs caused by the common cold and other breathing problems (e.g., pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema). Get to know how Benzonatate works, its side effects, precautions, and contraindications where Benzonatate is not suggested.

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How does Benzonatate work?

Benzonatate is a non-narcotic cough suppressant, used to treat cough. It works by depressing the “cough center” in the brain.

It works by numbing the throat and lungs and reducing the reflex in the lungs that cause the urge to cough. Use of this medication is not recommended for children younger than Ten years. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Uses of Benzonatate

Benzonatate is a prescription medication used to relieve cough in various respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema, and influenza. Benzonatate may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor for more information.

Side effects of Benzonatate

Benzonatate may cause side effects. Inform your doctor or pharmacist if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Feeling chilly
  • Burning in the eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Stuffy nose

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • Itching
  • Rash or hives
  • Tightening of the throat
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that do not exist)
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Numbness of the chest

Benzonatate may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Benzonatate Contraindications (When not to be taken)

  • Hypersensitivity

How to use Benzonatate?

Take this drug by orally with or without food, usually Three times daily as needed or as directed by your specialist.

Swallow this medication whole. Do not chew, suck, or dissolve this drug in your mouth, it may cause a loss of feeling in your mouth/throat and may cause choking or a severe allergic reaction. Do not eat or drink until the numbness goes away. Get medical help right away if the numbness worsens.

Dosage is based on your condition and response to therapy. Do not take more than 200 mg at one time. Consuming more or extra Benzonatate will not make your cough go away faster but may cause serious side effects. Inform your doctor if your condition worsens.

Benzonatate Dosage

Benzonatate available in 100 mg and 200 mg capsules, and is taken up to a maximum of 3 times a day, depending on your condition. Taking excessive Benzonatate than you are prescribed can be very dangerous.

Always consume Benzonatate with a full glass of water and swallow the capsule whole. You should never chew, crush, or suck the capsule.

If your doctor prescribed the 200 mg dose and you have trouble swallowing large capsules, try taking 2 of the 100 mg capsules instead one of the 200 mg capsule. You will need to tell your doctor ahead of time to get the right dosage size. Children under the age of Ten should not take Benzonatate.

Overdose of Benzonatate

Deliberate and accidental overdoses of Benzonatate can kill adults or children rapidly. Children are especially at risk, even at low doses. Symptoms of an overdose may start to occur in 15 to 20 min and death may occur within a few hours.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Memory loss
  • Dizziness
  • Shaking, tremors, or convulsions
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stupor, seizure, or coma
  • Restlessness
  • Vision loss or changes
  • Inability to walk
  • Stiffness or pain in the neck
  • Irregular breathing
  • Heart attack
  • Numbness or tingling in the face, tongue, mouth, or throat

If you feeling tingling or numbness in your face, mouth, tongue, or throat, you should not drink or eat until the feelings go away. If the feelings continue or they get worse, get emergency medical attention right away.

Missed Dose of Benzonatate

Taking more than prescribed Benzonatate may cause harmful side effects. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you find any side effects. If you miss the dosage take as soon as possible, and if it is near to next dose, skip the missing dosage continue the regular dosage. Do not take extra doses.

Substitutes for Benzonatate

Benzonatate may be found in some form under the following brand names:

  • Tessalon Perles
  • Tessalon
  • Zonatuss

If for some reason an experienced doctor is not available around you, then you can contact us here.


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