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Zonatuss

Generic Name: benzonatate (ben ZOE na tate)
Brand Name: Tessalon, Tessalon Perles, Zonatuss

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Mar 9, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Zonatuss?

Zonatuss is a non-narcotic cough medicine. It works by numbing the throat and lungs, making the cough reflex less active.

Zonatuss is used to relieve coughing.

Zonatuss may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Zonatuss or topical numbing medicines such as tetracaine or procaine (found in some insect bite and sunburn creams).

Never suck or chew on a Zonatuss capsule. Swallow the pill whole. Sucking or chewing the capsule may cause your mouth and throat to feel numb or cause other serious side effects.

Serious side effects of benzonatate include choking feeling, chest pain or numbness, feeling like you might pass out, confusion, or hallucinations. Some of these side effects may result from chewing or sucking on a Zonatuss capsule.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 10 years old without medical advice. An overdose of benzonatate can be fatal to a child.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Zonatuss or topical numbing medicines such as tetracaine or procaine (found in some insect bite and sunburn creams).

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Zonatuss will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether benzonatate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 10 years old without medical advice. An overdose of benzonatate can be fatal, especially to a child.

How should I take Zonatuss?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Always ask a doctor before giving a cough medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Never suck or chew on a Zonatuss capsule. Swallow the pill whole. Sucking or chewing the capsule may cause your mouth and throat to feel numb or cause other serious side effects.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Zonatuss can be fatal, especially to a child. Accidental death has occurred in children under 2 years old who took only 1 or 2 capsules.

Overdose symptoms may include numbness in the mouth or throat, feeling restless or very sleepy, tremors or shaking, seizure (convulsions), slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, and slow breathing (breathing may stop).

What should I avoid while taking benzonatate?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while you are using Zonatuss

Zonatuss side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking Zonatuss and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • a choking feeling;

  • chest pain or numbness;

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • confusion; or

  • hallucinations.

Some of these side effects may result from chewing or sucking on a Zonatuss capsule.

Less serious side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Zonatuss?

Before taking Zonatuss, tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to drowsiness and other side effects of benzonatate.

There may be other drugs that can interact with Zonatuss. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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