Benztropine : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Benztropine is used together with other medications to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD; a nervous system disorder that causes difficulties with movement, muscle control, and balance) and tremors caused by other medical problems or medications. Benztropine is in a class of medications called anticholinergics. It works by blocking a certain natural substance (acetylcholine) to help decrease symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease.
How should this medicine be used?
Benztropine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken at bedtime. It is usually taken once a day, but can be taken up to four times a day, depending on your symptoms. Take benztropine at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take benztropine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start with a small dose and slowly increase it after seeing your response to benztropine. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand.
Do not stop taking benztropine suddenly without talking to your doctor, especially if you are also taking other medications. Sudden discontinuation can cause symptoms of Parkinson’s disease to return.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking benztropine,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to benztropine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in the benztropine preparation. Ask your doctor or pharmacist or check the package label for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: tricyclic antidepressants such as desipramine (Norpramin), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Tofranil), or trimipramine (Surmontil) or haloperidol (Haldol).
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had tardive dyskinesia (uncontrollable movement of the face, tongue, or other parts of the body); glaucoma; prostatic hypertrophy (BPH, an enlarged prostate gland) or other problems with your urinary system; or heart or blood pressure problems.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking benztropine, call your doctor.
- If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking benztropine.
- You should know that this medicine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Remember that alcohol can increase the drowsiness caused by benztropine.
- Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Benztropine can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
- Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking benztropine if you are 65 or older. Older adults generally should not take benztropine because it is not as safe or effective as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
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?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next 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?
Side effects from benztropine are common. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth
- difficulty or pain when urinating
- loss of appetite
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
- delusions or hallucinations
- vision changes
Benztropine 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, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
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
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
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.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- seeing things that do not exist (hallucinating)
- muscle weakness
- dry mouth
- blurred vision
- rapid or pounding heartbeat
- upset stomach
- painful urination
- difficulty swallowing
- hot, dry, flushed skin
- bloody vomit
- heat stroke
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to benztropine.
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.