Precautions and Warnings With Benzonatate
Before taking benzonatate, let your healthcare provider know if you have allergies or if you have trouble swallowing pills, as you will need a different medication. Precautions and warnings with this product also apply to women who are pregnant or nursing. And some people should avoid benzonatate, including those who are allergic to PABA, procaine, or certain other chemical compounds.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?Prior to taking benzonatate (Tessalon®), tell your healthcare provider if you:
- Have any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medications you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Benzoate Precautions and Warnings
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking benzonatate include the following:
- It is absolutely crucial that benzonatate be swallowed whole. Do not suck or chew this product, as this could lead to serious problems, such as choking, breathing difficulties, or heart and blood vessel problems (such as cardiac shock).
- Be very careful to keep this product in a safe place, inaccessible to children. Even one or two capsules can be lethal to young children (see Benzonatate Overdose for more information).
- Rare cases of bizarre behavior, such as confusion or visual hallucinations, have been reported with benzonatate.
- Since benzonatate is chemically related to para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), people who are allergic to PABA may also have allergic reactions to benzonatate.
- Benzonatate is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown. Check with your healthcare provider before taking this drug when pregnant (see Benzonatate and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if benzonatate passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, check with your healthcare provider before taking this medication (see Benzonatate and Breastfeeding for more information).