- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: Benzonatate
Brand Names: Tessalon Perles, Zonatuss (discontinued)
Drug Class: Antitussives
What is benzonatate, and what is it used for?
Benzonatate is a medication taken orally to suppress coughs. It has an anesthetic (numbing) action similar to that of benzocaine and numbs the stretch sensors in the lungs. It is the stretching of these sensors with breathing that causes the cough. Benzonatate begins to work within 15 to 20 minutes, and its effects last for approximately 3 to 8 hours.
Benzonatate is unrelated to narcotics such as codeine which are frequently used to suppress coughs. (Another frequently used cough suppressant, dextromethorphan, which is found in many over-the-counter cough and cold preparations, is a derivative of the narcotics.)
What are the side effects of benzonatate?
The most frequent adverse reactions of benzonatate include:
Other side effects that have been reported include:
Severe hypersensitivity reactions (including airway spasms and cardiovascular collapse) may occur from sucking or chewing the capsule instead of swallowing it.
Benzonatate should not be used in children who are less than 10 years of age because unintentional overdose and death have been reported in this age group.
What is the dosage for benzonatate?
- The usual dose of benzonatate is 100-200 mg three times daily as needed for cough.
- A maximum dose of 600 mg (3-6 capsules depending on the strength of the capsule) per day is recommended by the manufacturer.
- Capsules should be swallowed whole and they should not be sucked, broken, or chewed.
What drugs interact with benzonatate?
There are no known drug interactions with benzonatate.
Is benzonatate safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about benzonatate?
Do I need a prescription for benzonatate?
What preparations of benzonatate are available?
Capsules: 100, 150, and 200 mg.
How should I keep benzonatate stored?
Capsules should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
Benzonatate is an oral medication prescribed to suppress cough. Benzonatate begins to work on suppressing a person's cough within 15 to 20 minutes. The most frequent adverse reactions of benzonatate include sedation, headache, mild dizziness, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. Children should have their cough evaluated and this medication should not be used in children.
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Coughing is a reflex that helps a person clear their airways of irritants. There are many causes of an excessive or severe cough including irritants like cigarette and secondhand smoke, pollution, air fresheners, medications like beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, the common cold, GERD, lung cancer, and heart disease.Natural and home remedies to help cure and soothe a cough include staying hydrated, gargle salt water, use cough drops or lozenges, use herbs and supplements like ginger, mint, licorice, and slippery elm, and don't smoke. Over-the-counter products (OTC)to cure and soothe a cough include cough suppressants and expectorants, and anti-reflux drugs. Prescription drugs that help cure a cough include narcotic medications, antibiotics, inhaled steroids, and anti-reflux drugs like proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, for example, omeprazole (Prilosec), rabeprazole (Aciphex), and pantoprazole (Protonix).
Upper Respiratory Infection (URI)
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Pimple vs. Cold Sore
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Cold Sores (Oral Herpes, Herpes Labialis)
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Is It Good to Cough Up Phlegm?
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Cold vs. Flu
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Cold, Flu, Allergy Treatments
Before treating a cold, the flu, or allergies with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it's important to know what's causing the symptoms, which symptoms one wishes to relieve, and the active ingredients in the OTC product. Taking products that only contain the medications needed for relieving your symptoms prevents ingestion of unnecessary medications and reduces the chances of side effects.
How Do I Get Rid of a Cold Sore Overnight?
You cannot get rid of cold sores overnight. There is no cure for cold sores. However, to speed up the healing time of a cold sore, you can consult with your doctor and take prescription medications such as antiviral tablets and creams. A cold sore may go away without treatment within a week or two.
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What Is the Fastest Way To Cure a Cough?
Learn what medical treatments can help ease your cough symptoms and speed up your recovery.
Sinus Infection vs. Cold
Viruses cause the common cold and most sinus infections. Bacterial and fungal infections may also cause a sinus infection. Signs and symptoms of colds and sinus infections include nasal irritation or dryness, sore throat, stuffy nose, nasal discharge/congestion, sneezing, and cough. Additional symptoms of sinus infections include sinus pressure behind the cheeks or eyes, facial pain when pressure is applied, bad breath, and thick yellow or green mucus. Treatment focuses on symptom relief.
What Are the 3 Stages of Whooping Cough?
The three stages of whooping cough include stage I (catarrhal), stage II (paroxysmal), and stage III (convalescent). Check out the center below for more medical references on whooping cough, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
How Long Does Whooping Cough Last?
What is whooping cough and how long does whooping cough last? Learn more about whooping cough and how to recover from whooping cough.
Do Expectorants Make You Cough More?
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Is It a Cold or a Sinus Infection?
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Learn what medical treatments can help ease your whooping cough symptoms and speed up your recovery.
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How Serious Is Whooping Cough in Adults?
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Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, and Colds
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Is Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Contagious?
Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by Bordetella pertussis. Whooping cough symptoms include severe coughing fits and whooping sound produced during inhalation. The bacteria spreads via airborne droplets produced during sneezing or coughing. There is a whooping cough vaccine that is typically administered during childhood vaccinations.
What Can Trigger a Cold Sore?
After you get infected with HSV, it lies inactively in the nerve cells inside your skin and may appear as another cold sore at the same place as before.
How Long Does a Cold Last?
Most often, a common cold lasts anywhere from 5 to 10 days in length.
How Do You Know If Your Child Has Whooping Cough?
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What Can I Do for My Baby’s Cough?
Cough can cause significant discomfort to a baby. The baby may also have difficulty relaxing and sleeping. Numerous illnesses can cause cough as a primary symptom. Coughing is the result of the baby’s airway being affected or irritated.
How Do I Get Rid of My Toddler's Cough?
Cough is one of the common complaints in toddlers. Get rid of your toddler's cough by making sure your child rests, stays hydrated, takes over-the-counter pain medication, uses nasal spray and uses a humidifier or steam to provide relief.
What Do You Give a Child With a Cold?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics may be used to fight bacterial infections, but they have no effect on viruses.
When to See a Doctor When Your Baby Has a Cold
If your baby has a cold, signs that it may be time to see a doctor include poor feeding, dehydration, breathing difficulties, ear pain, and more.
What Is Good for a Child's Cold?
The common cold is one of the main reasons for missing schools in children and missing work in adults. Children are affected more commonly with cold than adults, who may have an average of two to three colds each year.
How Do You Tell If Your Child Has Allergies or a Cold?
Colds and allergies have different causes, but both involve the body's immune system. Since the symptoms of allergies and the symptoms of a cold overlap, it can be hard to tell which one your child has.
How Do You Get a Cold Sore on Your Lip?
Cold sores, also called fever blisters or oral herpes, are a viral infection that leaves small blisters around your mouth. You get a cold sore on your lip due to viral infection from herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).
How to Identify Cold Symptoms in Children
When a child is sick, their way of showing it may not always be clear. Here’s what to look for to determine whether your child is sick with a cold.
How Do You Treat a Cold Naturally?
Hundreds of viruses and bacteria can cause the common cold and flu. Most cases of cold and flu usually resolve in a week with simple home remedies and over the counter (OTC) medications. If there is no improvement in a few days, it is advised to consult a doctor.
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information