Benzonatate Patient Tips
Medically reviewed on Oct 25, 2017 by C. Fookes, BPharm.
How it works
- Benzonatate reduces coughing by anesthetizing certain receptors located in the breathing passages and lungs, dampening down their activity and reducing the cough reflex.
- Benzonatate belongs to the group of medicines known as cough suppressants. Benzonatate may also be called an anti-tussive.
- Used to relieve a dry, irritating cough.
- Benzonatate is not a narcotic.
- Benzonatate is available as a generic.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:
- Sedation, headache, constipation, nausea, itchiness, skin rash, nasal congestion, a burning sensation in the eyes.
- Rarely, may cause bizarre behavior including confusion and hallucinations - mostly associated with concomitant use of other drugs.
- Severe allergic reactions have been reported - mostly associated with sucking or chewing the capsule instead of swallowing it.
- Overdosage can be fatal, especially in children.
Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.
- Swallow the capsule whole. Do not suck, chew, crush, cut, or break open as this can cause overdosage.
- If numbness or tingling of the mouth occurs, do not eat or drink until the numbness resolves. Seek medical attention if it does not resolve.
- Only take as directed. Do not exceed a single dose of 200mg or a total daily dose of 600mg. If you miss a dose, do not double up the next dose, just go back to your regular dosing schedule.
- Keep out of reach of children. If children accidentally take benzonatate seek medical attention immediately. Signs and symptoms of overdosage include tremors, convulsions, coma, and heart attack.
- Do not give to children aged less than 10.
Response and Effectiveness
- Benzonatate starts to work within 15 to 20 minutes and its effects last for 3 to 8 hours.
Benzonatate [Package Insert]. Revised 09, 2017. Major Pharmaceuticals Inc. https://www.drugs.com/pro/benzonatate.html
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- Drug class: antitussives
Related treatment guides
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use benzonatate only for the indication prescribed.
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