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Benzonatate is a prescription cough suppressant that is thought to work by numbing certain receptors in the airways. The drug comes in the form of liquid-filled gel capsules and is usually taken up to three times a day, either with or without food. Constipation, nausea, and a "chilly" sensation are some of the medication's possible side effects.

What Is Benzonatate?

Benzonatate (Tessalon®) is a prescription cough medication. It is used to suppress coughing.
(Click What Is Benzonatate Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with benzonatate. However, not everyone who takes the drug 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 can be treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious reactions are less common.
Possible side effects include but are not limited to:
  • A "chilly" sensation
  • Numbness of the chest
  • Nausea
  • Constipation.
(Click Benzonatate Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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