Nerve fibers are responsible for offering ample protection against foreign matter such as pet gander or microbes from entering into your nasal airways. These sensitive receptors are present on the membranes of your trachea – i.e., wind pipe. These sensors prevent portentous as well as invasive elements that are likely to cause respiratory problems or allergic conditions in your oropharynx area. In this light, coughing is a condition which is increasingly associated with ailments such as common cold as well as a few breathing disorders. Medications such as benzonatate are taken to suppress coughs. But, can it be used to treat congestion in your chest? It is important to know more on this.

Cough suppressants are available in many forms, and each has unique chemical structures. Some work on the oropharynx region while others work on the respiratory system. Among such cough suppressants, benzonatate is a widely prescribed drug. Ever since this drug’s commercial introduction in the 1950s, its patronage levels have increased with each passing year. Today, this drug scores a very high ranking as compared many other cough suppressant drugs. Little wonder that it ranks in the top 200 prescription drugs in the US. The number of prescriptions written in the US has reached several millions each year.

It is in the latter half of 1950s food and drug administration (FDA) – the US-based drug approving authority has cleared the use of this drug to reduce coughing reflexes. You need to remember that this medication is also sold both as a generic label as well as branded formulations. Regardless of the type of drug, it is recommended to take it under the guidance of a qualified physician. In general, this medication is taken orally; it can be consumed before or after food. A typical dosage plan involves taking this drug three times within a 24-hour timeline. Based on widely-done clinical trials, 100 mg to 150 mg in one dosage is known to arrest coughing spells in a sizable manner.

Can you take benzonatate for treating chest congestion?

It is likely to experience congestion in your chest due to respiratory conditions like bronchial asthma or other chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders as well as common conditions such as colds, infections in the air pathways, etc. Congestion can arise when your airways are swollen; such inflammation can occur in your lungs, wind pipe or its branches – known as bronchi / bronchioles. Other related symptoms of congestion in your chest include rhinitis, runny nose, soreness of throat, infections in the sinus, etc. In some cases, people living with chest congestion have also witnessed signs like increase in body temperature, migraines or headaches, body pain, coughs with discharge of discolored mucus (either darkened yellow or green), etc.

Another distinctive sign of congestion is frequent urges to cough up. Though many of these aforesaid signs may disappear after a few days, coughing may persist for a relatively longer time. These coughs are linked to inflammation of the wind pipe and its branches. In some people, these coughs may persist for 2 weeks or beyond; in such cases, you are advised to talk to a qualified clinical practitioner without any further delay.

Here, you need to understand the difference between congestion and cough. Cough suppressant such as benzonatate can only reduce the signals to cough out. These suppressants seldom address the root cause of congestion. The chief reason for chest congestion is a vital infection which in turn has inflamed your airways or other parts of your respiratory system. Though drugs like benzonatate can help reduce coughing, you may need to take antiviral drugs to treat the underlying microbial infections. In some cases, cough suppressant drugs are co-administered along with a few antiviral drugs or other antibiotics that are known to arrest viral spread or further progression of microbes.


Treatment of congestion

Apart from prescribing antivirals, your medical team may also recommend a few other alternatives. A few home remedies are pursued; salient among them include intake of a lot of fluids – such fluids help in keeping you hydrated. Clear fluids such as broth or hot water may also thin down phlegm or sputum accumulated onto the walls of your lungs as well as throat. Some caregivers may advise installation of a humidifier or a vaporizing device; these gadgets are also known to reduce congestion in your chest region. Other remedial measures for congestion include inhalation of steam, intake of pain killing meds such as acetaminophen, naproxen, ibuprofen or other types of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (popularly referred as NSAIDs). Last but not least, your physician may advise intake of lozenges or use sprays to clear nasal congestion.

Factors influencing dosages of benzonatate

You need to remember that no two persons living with coughing spells are prescribed with the same level of dosages of this medication. Its standard dose is influenced by factors like gender, weight, age, underlying medical ailment, prior clinical conditions, if any. Further doses depend on how well your body responds to the first few dosages.

Safe dosage level of benzonatate within a 24-hour period is never more than 600 milligrams (mg). Doses taken in excess of the aforesaid level may impair the oropharynx region and can arrest your breathing cycles. Daily dose is split into three (3) sub-doses; each such sub-dose is evenly distributed with an interval of 8 hours. Above all, it is important to know that this medication must not be taken for a longer duration. Intake of this drug for a longer term may impact how your nerves and brain work. Since the mechanism of action of this drug suppresses the nerve endings as well as medulla of your brain, long term consumption may change the signalling system. If taken for long, the changed approach to signalling may soon become a normal; in some cases, the brain may start seeking daily doses for its normal functioning and especially, activation of nerves of your oral region.

In some stray instances, a few people – living with coughs triggered by congestion – took an excessive dose of benzonatate i.e., dosages more than 600 mg within a 24-hour duration. Such daily doses are assumed to bring about a quicker cure from coughs; this however is a very wrong belief. Intake of this drug in excess of 600 milligrams within one day can aggravate your coughing frequencies; it may also result in a few discomforts, allergic reactions or other adverse side effects.

In sum, congestion in the chest region may arise when airways are swollen. It can occur in your lungs as well as the trachea and its branches, known as bronchioles. Congestive chest conditions are often accompanied by nasal discomforts like blockages, soreness of throat, infections in sinus, runny nose, rise in body temperature, headaches, pains, coughing with yellow or green colored mucus, etc. Another sign of congestion is to cough up often. If coughing persists for more than 15 days, you are advised to consult your doctor or pharmacist without any delay. Above all, you must know the key differences between coughing and congestion. Drugs like benzonatate can reduce reflexes to cough and may hardly arrest root causes of chest congestion. While benzonatate may decrease episodes of coughing, antiviral drugs are also taken to stop viral infections. For more details, you are advised to talk to a qualified chest physician.

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