What drugs should not be taken with benzonatate?

Coughing is an expulsion of air through your breathing channels. This action helps remove foreign bodies, microbes as well as fluids. However, if coughing persists, it indicates a medical condition. Causes for frequent coughing include smoking of tobacco products, living in polluted environment, etc. Meds to suppress coughing aim to discharge mucus or reduce internal swelling. In this milieu, benzonatate is widely used to bring about relief from coughs. Do you know of what drugs should not be taken with benzonatate? It is a good thing to know more.

Cough is generally associated with breathing conditions (also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – COPD) such as bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis, etc. Coughs are treated with opioid-based meds such as hydrocodone, codeine, etc. In some cases, drugs like morphine at extremely low-dosage levels are also used to treat coughing spells.

But studies done on opioids and cough suppression have shown minimal evidence of remedial outcomes. Moreover, efficacy of hydrocodone to suppress cough among children / younger adults remains unconfirmed. Hence, there is a drift to use non-opioid drugs for treatment of cough.

In this light, what is benzonatate?

Benzonatate was launched in the late 1950s in US. Now, it is also available as a generic drug. This med however has very limited access. It is essentially sold in Mexico and the US. In the latter, it features in the top 200 widely prescribed meds. Its annual orders have crossed 3-million mark in the early 2020s.

Benzonatate is a non-opioid medication to treat episodes of coughing. This med is orally administered. It is known to start working within a short span of time – of say, 25 minutes. The remedial effects of this cough suppressant are known to last for more than 5 hours i.e., from the time of dosing.

What drugs should not be taken with benzonatate?

It is a safe practice to tell your doctor of medications you are currently taking. As a safety measure, inform your caregiver of medication plans comprising over the counter drugs, prescription meds, herbal supplements – if any, dietary aids, supplements of vitamins, proteins or minerals such as calcium and / or magnesium.

You are advised not to take meds like anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, psychiatric drugs as well as narcotics. You need to tell your treating physician if you are using any cough or cold medicines; such medications also do not go well with benzonatate.

In the same note, if you have prior allergies to key ingredients of benzonatate, you must keep your caregiving team updated of such prior spells of hypersensitivity or allergies.

Precautions you need to be aware of while taking benzonatate

This drug is tolerated well, and is unlikely to trigger counterproductive outcomes if the pills are properly swallowed. However, benzonatate may also cause a few adverse effects. These include tiredness, being dizzy, difficulties to pass stools, migraines, congested nasal passages, abdominal conditions like nausea, etc. In some cases, numbing of chest region, burning sensation in eyes, itchy skin, etc. are have been witnessed.

Larger doses of benzonatate may cause erratic heartbeats (a condition called arrhythmia), rapid heart rate (also called tachycardia), tremors, fits or convulsions. Upon noticing one or more of these adverse effects, seek clinical help on an emergency mode. If you are in the US, call 911 immediately. US residents may also seek assistance from the helplines run by food and drug administration (FDA). Residents of Canada need to call Health Canada or move quickly to a poison management cell operating closer to your home.

Lastly, benzonatate needs to be taken under the supervision of a certified clinical professional. Intake of this med through self-medication route or as an over the counter (OTC) med can cause severe side effects. To have added details about what drugs should not be taken with benzonatate, talk to your caregiver or a pulmonologist.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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