What is Benzonatate?

Benzonatate is used to treat coughing due to a common cold or other breathing problems like bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, emphysema, etc. It is a non-opioid medication that works by reducing reflex (caused for coughing) in the lungs. It numbs the throat and lungs and makes the cough reflex less active. Benzonatate comes in various forms like capsule and Perle (small capsule) that you can quickly take orally. It starts working within 15 to 20 minutes after swallowing. The effect of this medicine stays in the body for 3 to 8 hours, depending upon the dosage.

Important Information

Allergic Reactions

People who take Benzonatate improperly have a high risk of an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions from Benzonatate are very harmful to the heart and blood vessels.

Psychiatric problems

Benzonatate may cause confusion and visual hallucinations. It is a severe side-effect of this medication and can occur if you take other medicines with Benzonatate.

Overdose in children

Benzonatate is not for children younger than ten years old. If any child swallows this medicine accidentally, immediately take his/her to the nearest clinic because it may become lethal for that child.


  • Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to Benzonatate or topical numbing medication like procaine or tetracaine.
  • Do not suck or chew Benzonatate capsules; you have to swallow the whole pill. If you suck or chew the Benzonatate capsule, it may numb your mouth and throat. This act may also be lethal for you.
  • Benzonatate's severe side effects are chest pain or numbness, confusion, choking feeling, feeling like you might pass out, or hallucinations. Among these severe side effects, many occur due to sucking or chewing the Benzonatate.

What to know before taking Benzonatate?

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding your child, please consult with your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Keep in mind this medicine is not for children below ten years old, so do not give Benzonatate to any child below ten years old.
  • Overdosing of this medicine is dangerous, especially in a young child who has swallowed Benzonatate accidentally.
  • Benzonatate is a potent medication to treat cough, so misuse or overdose of Benzonatate may be fatal. Do not eat or drink if you are suffering from numbness in your mouth, tongue, face, or throat by using this drug. You can eat and drink when after the numbness goes away.
  • Talk to your doctor if you are taking or planning to take any nutrition, vitamins, and herbal products. Your physician may need to adjust your Benzonatate dosage according to your requirement.
  • If you have any surgery, including dental surgery, consult with your dentist or your doctor before taking Benzonatate.

How to take Benzonatate?

  • Take Benzonatate according to your doctor's prescription. Do not take this medication improperly. Taking this medication in the wrong way may become fatal and put you in a life-threatening situation.
  • Before taking this medicine, read the medication guide properly. If you have any doubt about dosage, go to your doctor and immediately ask about your suspicions.
  • If you are going to give this medicine to a child, ask your doctor before doing this. It may be dangerous for your child; death may occur.
  • Take Benzonatate orally with or without food, usually three times daily. Your prescribed dosage may differ from this medication guide. Follow your prescribed dosages because doctors prescribe those dosages according to the requirement of your body.
  • After taking Benzonatate, keep it at a safe place that is out of the reach of your children or others who do not have a prescription for it.
  • Store Benzonatate at room temperature and away from moisture, heat, and light.

Benzonatate dosage

The dosage of Benzonatate differs for different age groups and according to existing medical conditions.

Usual Adult Dosage of Benzonatate for Cough

100mg to 200 mg orally, three times a day, is needed for cough. Comments: You must swallow the whole drug

Child Dosage (ages 11 to 17 years)

  • 100 to 200 mg of Benzonatate, three times a day as needed for cough
  • The maximum dosage is 600 mg needed for cough.

This medication is not allowed for children below ten years old.

What to do if I forget a dosage

Doctors generally advise taking this medicine according to your need. Your therapist may suggest you take this medication regularly. If you regularly use this medication and forget to take a dosage, you can skip the missed one and continue your regular doses.


In case of an overdose, you should call the poison control helpline number 1-800-222-1222. You can get the information about overdosing on the website https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Due to overdose, if the victim is in serious condition or collapsed, immediately call the emergency helpline number 911. If someone takes Benzonatate accidentally, immediately call for medical help. Symptoms of overdosing can occur rapidly. In the case of children, death can occur within an hour. Here are the symptoms of overdose; this list will help you to understand the overdosing;

  • restlessness
  • confusion
  • seizures
  • shaking of a body part and you can not control it

What to avoid while using Benzonatate?

  • Benzonatate is a cough medicine; if you suck or chew it, it can numb your tongue, throat, or mouth.
  • You have to avoid drinking or eating anything while feeling tingling or numbness in your throat or mouth.
  • You can take this medication with food or without food.

Benzonatate side effects

Benzonatate may cause some side effects. Some of these side effects are common, but some are severe. In severe side effects, you have to contact your doctor and seek a medical emergency immediately.

Common Side-effects;

  • nausea
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • stuffy nose
  • feeling chilly
  • burning in the eyes

Severe Side-effects;

  • rash or hives
  • itching
  • tightening of the throat
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • numbness of the chest
  • confusion
  • hallucinations

If you see one or more symptoms from above, immediately contact your doctor. These types of side effects may become a life-threatening situation for you.

What drugs can interact with Benzonatate?

  • Using Benzonatate with other medications may show some severe side effects. Please talk with your doctor to know the medication that you are taking is safe with Benzonatate. If your therapist tells you that you can continue Benzonatate with your current medicines, you can continue taking it with your current medication.
  • Vitamins and herbal products may also interact with Benzonatate. Tell your physician if you are taking any herbal products or vitamins. You have to tell your doctor if you are going to start any new medication with Benzonatate.
  • Many drugs can interact with Benzonatate. Please consult with your doctor to know which medication can interact with it and show some severe side effects.