benztropine (Cogentin)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

GENERIC NAME: benztropine

BRAND NAME: Cogentin

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Benztropine is an oral and injectable synthetic medication. It is structurally similar to atropine (AtroPen) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Benztropine has anticholinergic effects. Anticholinergic drugs block the action of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter (chemical) that nerves use to communicate with other nerves.

In Parkinson's there is an imbalance between levels of dopamine and acetylcholine neurotransmitters. Benztropine helps restore balance by blocking the action of acetylcholine in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Benztropine may also block the uptake and storage of dopamine in the central nervous system (CNS), resulting in the prolongation of the effects of dopamine. Benztropine was approved by the U.S. Food and Administration (FDA) in 1954.




  • Tablets: 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg
  • Solution for injection: 1 mg/ 1 ml

STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). Injection solution should be stored at controlled room temperature between 19.44 C and 25 C (68 F and 77 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Benztropine is used for the management of drug induced extrapyramidal disorders (except tardive dyskinesia). It is also used for the treatment of Parkinsonism or Parkinson's disease (movement disorder).


  • For drug induced extrapyramidal symptoms oral, intramuscular or intravenous dosing is available. Treatment is with 1 to 2 mg 2-3 times daily. Treatment should be reevaluated after 12 weeks.
  • Treatment of acute dystonic reactions: The usual recommended dose is 1 to 2 mg intravenous injection to treat acute reactions followed by 1 to 2 mg orally 1 to 2 times daily for up to 7 to 28 days to prevent recurrence.
  • For Parkinsonism, oral, intramuscular or intravenous dosing is available. The usual starting dose is 0.5 to 1 mg daily at bedtime or 2 to 4 divided doses. Dosage may be increased in 0.5 mg increments every 5 to 6 days based on individual response or tolerability. The usual dose range is 0.5 to 6 mg per day. The maximum daily dose is 6 mg.

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