The benzonatate is a medicine used to relieve cough . Classified as “antitussive”, this drug fights the cough reflex caused by irritations in the bronchi and throat, and by more severe health conditions, such as asthma, pleurisy and tumors.Benzonatate also has an anesthetic effect that helps reduce the pain that accompanies coughing . This drug works by preventing involuntary contraction in the lungs, which can trigger breathing difficulties from repetitive coughing.

What is benzonatate for?

Benzonatate is used to control the cough that occurs in different respiratory conditions, and provide a feeling of relief for the pain that is generated in the lungs. It is a drug that acts relatively quickly, as it begins to act within the first twenty minutes after consumption. Its effects last between three and eight hours.

Benzonatate is used to:

  • Treat the common cold cough
  • Treat bronchial and lung conditions
  • Treat cough for tumors
  • Treat laryngitis or tracheitis cough
  • Treat asthma
  • Treat pleurisy

Treat the common cold cough

In the common cold there is, in addition to abundant mucus, a dry cough that, because it is so frequent, irritates the throat. Benzonatate reduces the urge to cough, allowing the patient to focus on soothing the irritation and fighting other symptoms.

Treat bronchial and lung conditions

Benzonatate is effective in reducing coughs in cases of bronchial and lung diseases. Among them are:

  • Pneumonia, infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Tuberculosis
  • Pulmonary emphysema
  • Bronchitis (inflammation of the bronchial tubes that makes breathing difficult)

By stopping the recurrence of the cough, benzonatate helps the patient focus on attacking the root problem. Benzonatate can be given in combination with other medications that specialize in fighting bacterial or viral infections.

Treat cough for tumors

Lung cancer manifests as a dry, irritating, and aggressive cough. The presence of tumors in the lungs also limits their proper functioning for air uptake. Benzonatate helps the patient cope with the disease and its exhausting treatment , by significantly reducing the cough, which is one of the main factors of discomfort.

Treat laryngitis or tracheitis cough

Laryngitis is inflammation of the larynx, and tracheitis is inflammation of the windpipe, one of the first airways. A consequence that both have in common is a dry cough, which if it persists, becomes an agent of irritation and respiratory distress.

The task of the benzonatate is to stop the appearance of this cough while other medications are in charge of reducing the inflammation, which can be the result of an infection or an allergic reaction.

Treat asthma

Asthma is one of the most troublesome respiratory health conditions. The patient who suffers from it is unable to carry enough air into his lungs to breathe normally. Now, if you add a cough to this, it will be dangerous. Benzonatate is a good agent to suppress the cough reflex, so that the patient has well controlled asthma.

Treat pleurisy

Pleurisy is inflammation of the tissues that line the lungs. This causes a decreased ability to breathe properly and pain. If this is accompanied by a cough, which are sudden involuntary contractions, it will be very painful for the patient. Benzonatate helps prevent coughing impulses while other medications work by fighting inflammation.

Recommended dose of benzonatate

The benzonatate works to calm the cough in many conditions.

Benzonatate comes in two main forms:

  • Pearls , for oral administration: contain 100mg or 200mg of benzonatate. The box contains 20 pieces.
  • Suppositories , for anal application: contain 50mg or 100mg of benzonatate. The boxes have 3, 6 or 12 pieces.

It is recommended to administer the pearls three times a day in adult patients, for the period indicated by the doctor. The health professional will define whether to use 100mg or 200mg. The pearls should not be administered to patients under 12 years of age.

It is recommended to administer the suppositories three times a day in adult patients, in a dose of 100mg, for the period indicated by the doctor. Suppositories of 50mg are suggested for patients under 12 years of age.

Contraindications of benzonatate

For the administration of benzonatate, medical observation and caution is essential in people such as:

  • Patients allergic to benzonatate
  • Patients allergic to procaine
  • Tetracaine allergic patients
  • Pregnant women
  • Lactating women
  • Patients who are going to have surgery

Side effects of benzonatate

If benzonatate is administered irresponsibly, there are possible side effects that can range from mild to severe. Among them are:

  • Dizziness
  • Sickness
  • Headache or headache
  • Constipation
  • Feeling cold
  • Burning eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Rash or hives
  • Itch
  • Throat tightness
  • Dyspnea or shortness of breath
  • Difficulty to swallow
  • Chest numbness


Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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