Tessalon Perles Side Effects

Generic Name: benzonatate

Note: This document contains side effect information about benzonatate. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Tessalon Perles.

Some side effects of Tessalon Perles may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

For the Consumer

Applies to benzonatate: oral capsule, oral capsule liquid filled

Along with its needed effects, benzonatate (the active ingredient contained in Tessalon Perles) 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking benzonatate:

  • Confusion
  • difficult breathing
  • difficulty with speaking
  • seeing things that are not there
  • shortness of breath
  • tightness in the chest
  • wheezing

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking benzonatate:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Change in consciousness
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • loss of consciousness
  • no blood pressure or pulse
  • restlessness
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • stopping of the heart
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • unconsciousness

Some side effects of benzonatate 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

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to benzonatate: oral capsule

Nervous system

Nervous system adverse effects have rarely included headache, dizziness, mental confusion, bizarre behavior, and visual hallucinations. Seizures have been reported in patients after ingesting high doses.


Respiratory side effects may include choking induced by the anesthetic action of benzonatate (the active ingredient contained in Tessalon Perles) if chewed or sucked. Patients should be informed to swallow the capsule whole. Nasal congestion has been reported rarely.


Hypersensitivity side effects include bronchospasm, laryngospasm, and cardiovascular collapse that may be related to chewing or sucking the capsule instead of swallowing it whole.


Gastrointestinal side effects have included constipation, nausea, and gastrointestinal upset.


Dermatologic side effects have included pruritus and skin eruptions.

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