You are currently viewing Benzonatate


What is benzonatate?

Benzonatate is a non-narcotic cough medicine that is widely used for relieving coughing, but what exactly is it, and how does it work? Well, buckle up and get ready to be perplexed by this intricate topic!

Benzonatate works by numbing the throat and lungs, which in turn reduces the activity of the cough reflex. This mechanism of action is what makes it effective in suppressing coughs. However, caution must be taken when using benzonatate, as it can cause serious side effects.

It’s important to note that benzonatate should not be used by individuals who are allergic to benzonatate or other topical numbing medicines, such as tetracaine or procaine. Additionally, one should never suck or chew on a benzonatate capsule, as doing so can cause serious side effects, such as numbness in the mouth and throat, choking feelings, chest pain, confusion, hallucinations, and even fatal overdose in children younger than 10 years old.

Before taking benzonatate, it is important to consult a doctor, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is not approved for use by anyone younger than 10 years old. Also, it is worth noting that death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

When taking benzonatate, it is essential to follow the prescribed dosage and take each dose with a full glass of water. It should be swallowed whole, and not chewed or sucked on. This medication should also be stored at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

If you miss a dose, do not use two doses at one time, just skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. However, if an overdose occurs, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an overdose may include tremors, feeling restless, seizures, slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, and slow breathing, which may even lead to death in children younger than 10 years old.

When taking benzonatate, it’s important to avoid eating or drinking anything while you feel numbness or tingling in your mouth or throat. Doing so can result in serious side effects, such as ongoing numbness or tingling in your mouth, throat, or face, numbness in your chest, a choking feeling, chills, or burning in your eyes.

Serious side effects may also include severe drowsiness or dizziness, confusion, and hallucinations. Additionally, some common side effects of benzonatate may include headache, dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, constipation, itching, rash, and stuffy nose.

It is also important to note that using benzonatate with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen the effect, and it may interact with other prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Therefore, it’s best to inform your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

The recommended dose for adults is 100 mg to 200 mg orally three times a day, while children older than 10 years can take the same dosage as adults. Nonetheless, it is important to consult a doctor before giving cough medicine to a child, as death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

In conclusion, benzonatate is an effective cough medicine that works by numbing the throat and lungs, but it comes with a series of warnings and side effects. It is crucial to take this medication as prescribed by your doctor, avoid chewing or sucking on it, and store it appropriately. Additionally, inform your doctor of any other medication you may be taking to prevent adverse effects.

Leave a Reply