|Trade names||Tessalon, Zonatuss, others|
|Elimination half-life||3-8 hours|
|CompTox Dashboard (EPA)|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||603.742 g/mol g·mol−1|
|3D model (JSmol)|
|(what is this?)|
Benzonatate, sold under the brand names Tessalon among others, is a medication used to try to help with the symptom of cough and hiccups. It is taken by mouth. Use is not recommended in those under the age of 10. Effects generally begin within 20 minutes and last up to eight hours.
Side effects include sleepiness, headache, hallucinations, bronchospasm, and dizziness. Excessive doses may cause seizures or an irregular heartbeat. It is unclear if use in pregnancy and breastfeeding is safe. It works by numbing stretch receptors in the lungs.
Benzonatate was approved for medical use in the United States in 1958. It is available as a generic medication. In the United States the wholesale cost of is about 0.12 USD per dose. It is not available in many countries. In 2016 it was the 193rd most prescribed medication in the United States with more than 3 million prescriptions.
Ingestion of an excessive dose can cause laryngospasm, bronchospasm, seizures, cardiac arrhythmia, and circulatory collapse. Ingestion of a small handful of capsules has caused seizures, cardiac arrhythmias, and death in adults. Chewing or sucking of a single capsule can cause death of a small child.
Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) is a metabolite of drugs in the ester class of local anesthetics, which includes benzonatate, procaine and tetracaine. Severe allergic reactions have been reported in patients who are allergic to PABA. Severe sensitivity reactions to benzonatate have resulted in respiratory side effects such as bronchospasm, laryngospasm, and cardiac arrest.
Excessive absorption of benzonatate (a local anesthetic) in the oral mucosa will result in the rapid development of numbness of the mouth and throat. In extreme cases, the mouth and pharynx may become so numb that pulmonary aspiration may occur.
Mechanisms of action
Dosage and administration
Benzonatate is sold as yellow or blue 100 mg and 200 mg softgel capsules. Initial dose is one 100 mg perle (gelcap) by mouth, 3 times a day. Dosage may be increased as necessary, up to a maximum of 600 mg per day.
Due to its potency and potential toxicity, the capsules must be swallowed intact in order to allow slower release of the medication.
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- "NADAC as of 2019-02-27". Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
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- Medicalook.com: Benzonatate
- MedicineNet.com: Benzonatate