Benzonatate is used to relieve cough. Benzonatate is in a class of medications called antitussives (cough suppressants). It works by reducing the cough reflex in the lungs and air passages.
Benzonatate comes as a liquid-filled capsule and a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken three times a day as needed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take benzonatate exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the capsules and liquid-filled capsules whole; do not break, dissolve, cut, crush, suck or chew them. If the medication is released in the mouth, it may make the mouth numb and cause choking. Do not eat or drink if you feel numbness or tingling of your mouth, tongue, throat, or face. If feelings of numbness or tingling continue or get worse, get medical help right away.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking benzonatate,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
This medication is usually taken as needed. If you are taking benzonatate regularly and you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Benzonatate may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Benzonatate may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed. It is very important to store this medication in a closed child-proof container and to keep it out of reach of children. Children may be attracted to the shape and look of the liquid-filled capsules and may die if they swallow the medication. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
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 ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
If benzonatate is taken accidentally, call for medical help immediately. Symptoms of overdose can occur rapidly (within 15–20 minutes of taking medication) and death in children has been reported within an hour. These symptoms may include the following:
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.