- Finding Relief for Your Cough Slideshow
- Take the Cold & Flu Quiz
- Cold & Flu Slideshow: Treating Your Child's Cold or Fever
- What is benzonatate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for benzonatate?
- Is benzonatate available as a generic drug?
- What are the uses for benzonatate?
- What are the side effects of benzonatate?
- What is the dosage for benzonatate?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with benzonatate?
- Is benzonatate safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about benzonatate?
What is benzonatate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- 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 uses for benzonatate?
Benzonatate is used for relieving cough.
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.
Quick GuideCold and Flu: Finding Relief for Your Cough
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.
Which drugs or supplements 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?
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 (Tessalon Perles, Zonatuss - discontinued in the US) is an oral medication prescribed to suppress cough. Benzonatate begins to work on suppressing a person's cough within 15 to 20 minutes. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and safety in children information should be reviewed with a physician prior to taking this medication.
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Bronchitis is inflammation of the airways in the lung. Acute bronchitis is is short in duration (10 to 20 days) in comparison with chronic bronchitis, which lasts for months to years. Causes of acute bronchitis include viruses and bacteria, which means it can be contagious. Acute bronchitis caused by environmental factors such as pollution or cigarette smoke is not contagious. Common symptoms for acute bronchitis include nasal congestion, cough, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue.
Acute bronchitis in children also my include runny nose, fever, and chest pain. Treatment for acute bronchitis are OTC pain relievers, cough suppressants (although not recommended in children), and rest. Infrequently antibiotics may be prescribed to treat acute bronchitis.
Chronic bronchitis is a cough that occurs daily with production of sputum that lasts for at least three months, two years in a row. Causes of chronic bronchitis include cigarette smoking, inhaled irritants, and underlying disease processes (such as asthma, or congestive heart failure). Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Treatments include bronchodilators and steroids. Complications of chronic bronchitis include COPD and emphysema.
Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such as
- allergic rhinitis,
- sinus infection,
- cigarette smoking,
- postnasal drip,
- medications, and
- less frequently tumors or other lung disease. Treatment of chronic cough is dependent upon the cause.
Chronic cough treatment is based on the cause, but may be soothed natural and home remedies.
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