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Generic Name

  • Benzonatate.

Brand Name

  • Tessalon. 

General Information

Benzonatate is in a class of medications called antitussives. It works by reducing the cough reflex in the lungs and air passages. This medicine usually is given three times daily or as and when needed for instant cough-relief. Stomach upset, nausea, constipation, drowsiness, mild dizziness, nasal congestion or headache may occur the first several days as your body adjusts to the medication. Benzonatate is used to treat cough due to the common cold, pneumonia, bronchitis, or other infections of the lung. Benzonatate comes as a liquid-filled capsule and a regular capsule to be taken by mouth. Benzonatate relieves cough by acting directly on the lungs and the breathing passages. It may also act on the cough center in the brain. The dose of benzonatate will be different for different patients. It is also not known whether benzonatate passes into breast milk. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Benzonatate should not be used if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to benzonatate or similar drugs. Do not suck or chew the capsules. Swallow them whole. Sucking or chewing the capsules may cause the mouth and throat to feel numb or frozen, and choking may occur.

Benzonatate Dosage

  • The dose of benzonatate will be different for different patients.
  • Benzonatate usually is given three times daily as needed for cough.
  • A maximum doses of 6 capsules per day is recommended by the manufacturer.

Side Effects of Benzonatate

The following side effects of Benzonatate may includes:

  • Upset stomach.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Headache.
  • Burning in the eyes.
  • Rash or hives.
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • Tightness in chest.
  • Itching.

Warnings and precautions before taking Benzonatate

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to benzonatate, procaine (Novocain), tetracaine (Pontocaine), or any other medications.
  • Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
  • Tell your doctor if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
  • If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking benzonatate.
  • Do not share this medication with anyone else.
  • Alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.


  • Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.
  • Symptoms of overdose may include: restlessness, shaking hands that you cannot control, seizures, unconsciousness.
  • In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
  • If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.



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