Persistent episodes of coughing may reduce qualify of your life and can also bring about other clinical conditions. A significantly large range of medications can be readily procured – both from drug stores as well as online pharmacies – to treat prolonged spells of coughing. Medical sciences attribute respiratory tract related disorders such as bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders (COPD) and other breathing problems as likely reasons for coughing. It is also possible to witness incessant spells of coughs due to colds, nasal allergies, or other such conditions linked to blockage as well as allergens in your air pathways. Of these medicines widely available at many drug stores and through online vendors, benzonatate is widely prescribed to arrest frequent urges to coughs. It is essential to know items or drugs that do not go well with intake of benzonatate.

Foremost of all, you need to know that benzonatate needs to be taken strictly under the guidance of a qualified clinical practitioner. This drug can be unsafe if consumed as part of self-treatment. In case of taking this drug without needful medical supervision or guidance, you must never administer this drug to children who are less than 11 years of age. Intake of benzonatate can lead to a few severely adverse outcomes such as a cardiac attack, heart failure, slipping into stage of coma, convulsions, epileptic fits, involuntary twitching of muscles or seizures. As the products look like a sugar candy, pets and children are more likely to be tempted by its physical appearance, and may hence consume it. It is important to keep it far away from the reach of children and pets.

Women who are pregnant need to know that this drug is bucketed under category C medications; this label has been issued by the US-based federal drug clearing agency – food and drug administration (FDA). Such a label refers to the unknown nature of this drug (and its active ingredients) on pregnant women. Hence, this med is prescribed to women who are pregnant only when it is essential, and also when no other alternatives are available.

Items or drugs that you cannot take along with benzonatate

Interactions with other co-administered medications are possible when benzonatate is taken along with several other drugs. Your pharmacist and treating physician may keep you updated about the likely risks of adverse interactions between drugs. As a general safety measure, you are advised to record / list all the drugs you are currently taking. Not stopping with medications, it is a safer practice to make a list of all treatment plans presently pursued. While compiling the list of currently taken medicines, care to add your prescription drugs, over the counter (OTC) medications, vitamins, dietary supplements as well as herbal aids, if any.

As an added safety measure, tell your pharmacist if you have any known hypersensitivity or prior allergies to anesthetic drugs – especially, meds such as tetracaine, procaine, etc. It is also likely that some of the passive or not-so-active compounds / ingredients of such drugs may develop hypersensitivity. So, consult your doctor if you have witnessed any such earlier discomforts. Above all, it is very important to share details about your clinical history as well as your family’s medical history prior to starting a medication plan involving the intake of benzonatate.


Likely effects of intake of alcohol along with this drug

One of the less common side effects of benzonatate is its ability to trigger dizziness or an acute spell of drowsiness. If your lifestyle includes regular consumption of alcohol, your doctor needs to know about such habits. It is a safe practice to keep away from alcohol all through the duration of your medication plan. People who took alcohol while consuming benzonatate developed severe spells of dizziness. Not stopping with alcohol, it is also unsafe to take intoxicants such as marijuana, cannabis, etc. Co-administration of alcohol may lead to fatal accidents; so, your treating physician will tell you not to engage in activities that may require a high level of mental focus or concentration. Such activities include driving, working on heavy machinery or engaging in adventure sports such as cycling, swimming, skiing, etc.

Interactions with other drugs

Benzonatate is known to work adversely if taken with a few other drugs. Hence, your doctor must know about the other drugs that you are presently consuming. After sharing details about the drugs you take, never change the doses or stop taking any of them; it is because your medication plan is prepared based on intake of other drugs. So, changing the existing treatment plans without your treating doctor’s approval can lead to severe side effects as well as a few adverse reactions.

Foremost of all, it is possible that you are already taking a few cough relievers. Commonly available cough relieving drugs include hydrocodone, codeine, etc. It is also likely that you are consuming pain killing drugs which are opioids-based. Intake of any of these drugs with benzonatate is more likely to produce extreme episodes of dizziness. These effects are more pronounced among elderly patients or older people. The treating physician may hence reduce the dosage values based on your age; i.e., if you are aged above 55 years, the dosages are relatively lesser than those administered onto younger adults. Older people may also develop shivers or shakes, tremors, respiratory problems such as wheezing, gasping for breath, slowing down of breathing cycles as well as shallowed breathing.

In the same light, you need to avoid a few types of antihistamine drugs – such as diphenhydramine or cetirizine; also, never take a few types of muscle relaxing meds like cyclobenzaprine as well as carisoprodol. It is considered safe to stay away from drugs that may induce sleep or offer relief from mental conditions like anxieties or restlessness. Such drugs include lorazepam, alprazolam as well as zolpidem. As a general safety precaution, it is highly recommended to avoid taking common cold medicines, allergy reducing drugs as well as a few types of cough medications.

Birth control measures for women who are planning to become pregnant

If you are prescribed with this drug and if you are planning to get pregnant, you must talk about their plans with their medical team. Your treating doctor may advise use of birth control measures to avoid possible risks to your fetus. If you need more details about birth control measures, you can talk to your gynecologist. Often, a wide range of options are suggested to prevent pregnancies; most commonly used birth control measures include vaginal rings, skin patches, birth control pills, etc. It is very important to choose a birth control measure that works well for your overall wellbeing and current medical condition.

On the other hand, women who are already pregnant must try to stay away from intake of benzonatate. This is mainly because the number of trials done to check its safety on pregnant women is very limited. Your doctor may prescribe this drug only when coughing spells are uncontrollable; in all other instances, your medical team may try its best to make you stay away from this drug. Breastfeeding women or women who are nursing a baby need to take added precautions while taking this drug. Clinical studies are not clear about the impact of the active ingredients of benzonatate and to what extent they may get into mother’s milk – i.e., breastmilk. Babies who consume milk with active ingredients of this drug can develop a few adverse side effects like incessant crying, feeding problems, sleeping for long hours, etc. It is hence a safe practice to talk to your doctor – especially, if you are nursing a baby or breastfeeding.

Good practices associated to promote safe intake of benzonatate

Reflexive actions triggered in lungs are the key reasons to trigger coughing spells. The more sensitive lungs may often lead to frequent occurrence of coughs. You need to always remember that benzonatate is prescribed to provide relief from such coughing episodes. The drug reduces your urges to cough and thus suppresses coughing spells. This drug may at times be compared with other cough-decreasing meds like hydrocodone. But, an established fact is – benzonatate is far more efficient in suppressing coughs than many other drugs of the same genre.

You need to remember that it is a good practice to inform your medical team (i.e., care givers, including your pharmacist) on any known hypersensitivities or allergies linked to consumption of benzonatate. Also, those who are living with clinical conditions such as rhinitis, nasal irritation, central nervous system related ailments like convulsions or fits, spasms, etc., your doctor as well as pharmacist need to know about them. Problems with your bowel movements – especially, difficulties to pass stools (or, constipation) must also be informed to your treating physician. Some users who may be living with mood-related problems or mental disorders like depression, hallucinations, being in a state of confusion, those experiencing strange dreams as well as weird thoughts must tell your treating doctor about such conditions.

In sum, benzonatate must not be taken along with alcohol or other intoxicants like marijuana / cannabis. You may also need to stay away from taking antihistamines like diphenhydramine or cetirizine; you must avoid taking a few types of muscle relaxing drugs such as cyclobenzaprine and carisoprodol. It is also regarded as a safe practice to keep away from meds that offer relief from mental conditions like anxieties or restlessness as well as drugs that can trigger sleep or promote calmness. Such drugs include lorazepam, alprazolam, zolpidem, etc. Last but not least, it is difficult to list all possible interactions of benzonatate with other co-administered drugs. So, as a general safety precaution, talk to your treating doctor and pharmacist about items that go well with the intake of benzonatate and the other likely effects triggered by possible drug interactions.

Leave a Reply