Generic Name: benzonatate (ben-ZOE-na-tate)
Brand Name: Tessalon Perles
Benzonatate is used for:
Benzonatate is a nonnarcotic cough suppressant. It works in the airway and lungs to reduce the cough reflex. This helps to relieve cough.
Do NOT use benzonatate if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in benzonatate or to related medicines (eg, procaine, tetracaine)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using benzonatate:
Some medical conditions may interact with benzonatate. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have asthma
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with benzonatate. However, no specific interactions with benzonatate are known at this time.
Ask your health care provider if benzonatate may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use benzonatate:
Use benzonatate as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take benzonatate by mouth with or without food.
- Swallow benzonatate whole. Do not break, crush, chew, dissolve, or suck on benzonatate before swallowing.
- If you miss a dose of benzonatate, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use benzonatate.
Important safety information:
- Benzonatate may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use benzonatate with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Do not break, crush, chew, dissolve, or suck on benzonatate before swallowing. Numbness or tingling of the mouth, tongue, throat, or face may occur. Choking and severe allergic reactions (eg trouble breathing, shock, loss of consciousness) have also been reported. If numbness or tingling occurs, do not eat or drink until it goes away. If you have a severe allergic reaction or if you have numbness or tingling that persists or gets worse, seek medical attention right away.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
- Benzonatate should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 10 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- Accidental ingestion of benzonatate by CHILDREN younger than 10 years old has resulted in severe and sometimes fatal effects, including seizures, loss of consciousness, and heart attack (cardiac arrest). If a child younger than 10 years old swallows benzonatate, he or she should receive medical attention right away.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking benzonatate while you are pregnant. It is not known if benzonatate is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you take benzonatate, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of benzonatate:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Constipation; dizziness; drowsiness; headache; nasal congestion; nausea; upset stomach.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bizarre behavior; confusion; hallucinations.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include coma; heart attack (cardiac arrest); loss of consciousness; restlessness; seizures; severe drowsiness; tremors.Proper storage of benzonatate:
Store benzonatate at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed, child-resistant container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep benzonatate out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about benzonatate, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Benzonatate is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take benzonatate or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about benzonatate. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to benzonatate. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using benzonatate.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More benzonatate resources
- benzonatate Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- benzonatate Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- Benzonatate Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Benzonatate Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- Benzonatate Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Tessalon Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Zonatuss Prescribing Information (FDA)