Benzonatate review

Benzonatate is a non-narcotic cough suppressant or antitussive which is often used to treat and reducing coughing in various respiratory conditions such as the common colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema and even asthma. It works as an anesthetic which suppresses the action of the coughing symptoms by blocking the action of stretch receptors in the throat. It comes in softgel capsules and due to its relative strength, it is often recommended to swallow the capsules whole in order to allow slower release of the medication – reducing the compulsion to cough with each breath

Being non-narcotic, benzonatate is not prone to abuse like some other cough medications such as codeine or dextromethorpan. Each softgel capsule is yellow in color and contains 100mg of the active ingredient benzonatate.

Benzonatate is a prescription drug prescribed to relieve symptoms of cough resulting from other respiratory conditions such as infections such as the colds, flu, or tuberculosis, as well as conditions such as emphysema, or bronchitis among others.

Standard treatment dose for adults and children over 10 years of age is about 100 mg per dose which can be taken 3 times a day, with a maximum of up to 6 times each day. However, always follow doctor’s specific instructions. Do not chew or suck the capsule, as it will disrupt the normal absorption process of the medication. The numbness in the mouth the can result may cause choking or even sever allergic reaction in sensitive patients.

Among the side effects that can be experienced from the use of benzonatate include stomach upsets such as constipation, drowsiness and dizziness, headaches, a stuffy nose or a burning sensation in the eyes. Consult your doctors if these conditions persist.

On the other hand, some side effects can be more serious than others. Immediately contact your doctor if you experience any rash, hives or other allergic reactions, a difficult time breathing or swallowing, mental confusion and hallucination. Some of these side effects may result from absorbing too much benzonatate in mouth.

If capsules are chewed or allowed to dissolve in the mouth, numbness of the mouth and throat will develop rapidly. Symptoms of restlessness and tremors may be followed by convulsions. These may lead to an overdose of the drug, and cases of deliberate abuse of benzonatate have resulted in deaths.

Increased sensitivity to anesthetic effects of the para-aminobenzoic acid class such as procaine and tetracaine can also cause adverse effects to the central nervous system when taking benzonatate. Severe sensitivity to the drug has also caused bronchospasm, laryngospasm and cardiovascular collapse in some cases, which also resulted from sucking on to the capsules or breaking them inside the mouth. A general mental confusion and hallucination have also been observed in overdose cases.

Benzonatate’s effects on the developing fetus have yet to be determined, and tests on the carcinogenic effects of this drug have not been administered yet. It is also unknown whether this drug can be released with breast milk, nor is use for children below 10 years of age been extensively studied.

Benzonatate has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of benzonatate

• Molecular formula of benzonatate is C30H53NO11
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 2-[2-[2-[2-[2-[2-[2-[2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethoxy]ethoxy]ethoxy]ethoxy] ethoxy]ethoxy]ethoxy]ethyl4-butylaminobenzoate
• Molecular weight is 603.742 g/mol
Benzonatate available : 100mg capsules and 200mg capsules

Brand name(s): Benzonatato, Benzonatatum, Benzononantin, Benzononatine, Exangit, Tesalon, Tessalin, Tessalon, Ventussin

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