Benzonatate

Pronunciation

Pronunciation: ben-ZOE-nah-tate
Class: Nonnarcotic antitussive

Trade Names

Tessalon
- Capsules 100 mg
- Capsules 200 mg

Zonatuss
- Capsules 150 mg

Pharmacology

Reduces cough reflex by anesthetizing stretch receptors in respiratory passages.

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Pharmacokinetics

Onset

15 to 20 min.

Duration

3 to 8 h.

Indications and Usage

Symptomatic relief of cough.

Contraindications

Standard considerations.

Dosage and Administration

Adults and Children at least 10 yr of age

PO 100 to 200 mg 3 times daily as required, up to 600 mg/day.

General Advice

  • Have patient swallow capsules whole. Caution patient not to suck or chew capsule because benzonatate can produce a temporary local anesthesia of the oral mucosa and choking could occur.
  • Administer without regard to meals but administer with food or milk if GI upset occurs.

Storage/Stability

Store capsules at controlled room temperature (59° to 86°F). Keep tightly capped.

Drug Interactions

None well documented.

Laboratory Test Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

CNS

Sedation; headache; mental confusion; visual hallucinations.

Dermatologic

Pruritus; skin eruptions.

GI

Constipation; nausea; GI upset.

Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity reactions including bronchospasm, laryngospasm, CV collapse, possibly related to chewing the capsule.

Miscellaneous

Nasal congestion; eye irritation; feeling cold; chest numbness.

Precautions

Monitor

Assess response to therapy. Inform health care provider if cough is not controlled or worsens.


Pregnancy

Category C

Lactation

Undetermined.

Children

Safety in children younger than 10 yr of age is not established.

Overdosage

Symptoms

CNS stimulation, restlessness, tremors, convulsions, profound CNS depression.

Patient Information

  • Advise patient to take prescribed dose up to 3 times daily if needed for cough.
  • Caution patient not to chew or suck on capsule because doing so can cause local anesthesia (numbness) of the mouth and throat and choking could occur.
  • Advise patient to take without regard to meals but to take with food or milk if stomach upset occurs.
  • Advise patient if a dose is missed, to take as soon as remembered unless it is nearing time for the next dose. Caution patient not to double the dose to catch up.
  • Advise patient if cough is not controlled, not to increase the dose of medication, but to inform health care provider.
  • Advise patient to inform health care provider if bothersome side effects occur.
  • Caution patients that drug may cause drowsiness or dizziness and to use caution while driving or performing other tasks requiring mental alertness until tolerance is determined.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health.

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