Benzonatate Side Effects

Although most people do not experience problems during treatment with benzonatate, side effects are possible. Common ones include drowsiness, dizziness, and headache. Serious problems have also been known to occur with this cough suppressant. Notify your healthcare provider right away if you experience confusion, throat numbness, difficulty swallowing, or any other potentially dangerous side effects.

An Introduction to Benzonatate Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with benzonatate (Tessalon®). However, not everyone who takes the medication will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with benzonatate. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
 

Side Effects of Benzonatate to Report

There are a number of benzonatate side effects that you should report to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
 
  • Numbing of the mouth or throat, which occurs if the capsules are sucked or chewed instead of swallowed whole and may lead to choking
 
  • Serious heart or blood vessel problems, such as a cardiac arrest, usually due to the anesthetic reaction when the capsules are sucked or chewed instead of swallowed whole
 
  • Numbness of the chest
 
  • Confusion or hallucinations
 
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
     
    • Unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling, wheezing, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
 
Swallowing the capsules whole may greatly reduce the risk of many of these serious side effects of benzonatate. Never suck or chew the capsules.
 
In addition, since benzonatate is chemically related to para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), people who are allergic to PABA may also have allergic reactions to benzonatate.
 
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Benzonatate Drug Information

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