Benzonatate : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Benzonatate is used to relieve coughs. Benzonatate is in a class of medications called antitussives (cough suppressants). It works by reducing the cough reflex in the lungs and airways.
How should this medicine be used?
Benzonatate comes as liquid-filled capsules and capsules to take by mouth. It is usually taken three times a day as needed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take benzonatate exactly as directed. Do not take more or less or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the capsules and liquid-filled capsules whole; do not break, dissolve, cut, crush, suck, or chew them. If the medicine is released into the mouth, it can make the mouth numb and cause suffocation. Do not eat or drink if you feel numbness or tingling in your mouth, tongue, throat, or face. If feelings of numbness or tingling continue or get worse, seek medical help immediately.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking benzonatate,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to benzonatate, procaine (Novocaine), tetracaine (in Synera), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in benzonatate capsules. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking benzonatate, call your doctor.
- If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking benzonatate.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
This medication is usually taken as needed. If you are taking benzonatate regularly and miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Benzonatate may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stuffy nose
- feeling chilly
- burning in the eyes
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- rash or hives
- tightening of the throat
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- numbness of the chest
- hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that do not exist)
Benzonatate can cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed. It is very important to store this medicine in a closed, child-resistant container and keep it out of the reach of children. Children may be attracted to the shape and appearance of the liquid-filled capsules and may die if they swallow the medicine. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. Check out the FDA drug safe disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
If benzonatate is taken accidentally, call for medical help immediately. Symptoms of overdose can occur rapidly (within 15–20 minutes of taking medication) and death in children has been reported within an hour. These symptoms may include the following:
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all the prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.