Benzonatate, also known as and sold under the trade names Tessalon Perles and Zonatuss, is a product used in the treatment of coughs, usually caused by common colds and other breathing problems (e.g., pneumonia, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis).
It works by relaxing the lungs and breathing passages, and also affects the brain and relaxes the reflex in the lungs that causes the need to cough.
The common cold is said to be a self-limited contagious disease that can be caused due to a number of various viruses. It is also medically referred to as a viral upper respiratory tract infection. A few of its symptoms include sore throat, watery eyes, nasal congestion, fever (which is low grade), coughing, and sneezing. There are more than 200 different types of viruses which can cause the common cold, although the rhinovirus is said to cause approximately 10%–40% of cases in adults. Some of the other common viruses that can cause problems are adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and parainfluenza virus. Since there are so many different types of viruses that can lead to a cold, as well as newer forms of viruses being developed every day, the body does not completely build up resistance to fight against all of them. For this reason, the common cold is a frequent and recurring problem. Children in preschool and elementary school can have six to twelve colds every year, whereas adults have typically two to four every year. The common cold is said to occur frequently in the winter, spring, and fall seasons. It can be spread through direct contact with the secretions of the infections from any contaminated surface, or it can be passed by inhaling the airborne virus once an individual sneezes or coughs in the air. The virus is contagious between a period of one to two days before the symptoms start to develop until the symptoms are resolved completely. But more often, a cold is typically contagious during the first two to three days of illness.
2 What To Know Before Using
Before using Tessalon Perles, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. It should only be used if the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks. This is a decision you and your doctor, together, will have to make.
Make sure you inform your doctor about:
Allergies: Inform your doctor about any past allergic reactions to any medications, prescribed or not. Also, inform your healthcare professional about any allergic reactions to any specific foods, dyes, or fabrics.
Pediatric: There have been no studies that confirm the beneficial effects or potential risks of this medicine if used in children younger than ten years of age. Because of this, safety is not guaranteed, and this product is not recommended for use in children under ten.
Geriatric: There have been no studies that confirm the beneficial effects or potential risks of this medicine if used in geriatric patients. Because of this, safety is not guaranteed.
Pregnancy: There have been no studies that confirm the beneficial effects or potential risks if this medicine is used during pregnancy. Because of this, safety is not guaranteed. Inform your doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans to become pregnant in the near future. This medicine should be used only when the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Breastfeeding: There have been no studies that confirm the beneficial effects or potential risks if this medicine is used while nursing. Because of this, safety is not guaranteed. Inform your doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. This medicine should only be used when the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Drug interactions: Certain medications should not be used in combination. In some cases, however, the doctor may prescribe a specific combination to help treat your condition. It is very important to inform your doctor of any other medications you are currently using, prescribed or not, as well as vitamins and herbal teas.
Other interactions: Ask if it is necessary to follow a specific diet or discontinue the use of tobacco or alcohol.
Other medical problems: Inform your doctor about your medical history and any other medical conditions or problems you’ve had in the past or are still dealing with at present. Especially inform the doctor if you have mucus or phlegm with a cough.
Proper usage of Tessalon Perles requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. This medication comes in the form of a capsule. It is very important to swallow the capsules whole; do not break, chew, or crush them, as doing so will cause a numb feeling in the mouth and tongue.
This could cause choking or a serious allergic reaction. Do not drink or eat anything until the numbness is present. If the feeling does not pass, contact your doctor. The dosage is based on your condition and the treatment prognosis.
The usual dose is one capsule, three times a day. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If the time for the next dose is close, wait and take it; do not double it. Taking a double dose will not help a cough pass more quickly. If an overdose is suspected, contact your doctor right away for further instructions.
The doctor will decide on the exact dose to be taken to avoid any side effects or interactions. The various factors to be considered by the doctor are the age of the individual, the condition for which they are being treated, the severity of the condition, any other medical condition the patient is suffering from, and how the body responds to the first few doses of medicine. Tessalon is available in capsule form in the strength of 200mg, whereas the generic brand is available in strengths of 100mg, 150mg, and 200mg. The dosage for adults above 18 years is 100mg to 200mg, to be taken three times a day as required for the cough. The maximum dosage one can take is 600mg per day. Children who are between 11 and 17 years of age should be given 100mg to 200mg every day, and the maximum daily dose should not exceed 600mg. This medication should not be used in children below 11 years of age.
If you miss a dose, you can skip the missed one and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double dose, or else it can lead to an overdose. Be sure to store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature. It should be kept away from heat, light, and moisture. Also, keep it from freezing. Any outdated medicine or medicine that is no longer required should not be stored. It is better to consult the doctor on how to correctly dispose of the medicine.
The capsules should be stored in a child-proof container, out of the reach of children at all times. Any unused medicine should be disposed of by mixing it with used coffee grounds and then placing this in a bag that is sealed properly or in an empty can or container.
If the cough does not get better even after seven days of starting the medicine, or if there are any signs of a high fever, continuous headaches, rashes on the skin, or persistent coughing, it is best to seek help from the doctor. These signs can mean that the patient may be suffering from another medical issue.
4 Precautions To Take
Before using Tessalon Perles, there are some precautions you must take. Inform your doctor if you have ever experienced an allergic reaction to any medication, prescribed or not. This product may contain inactive substances that could cause an allergic reaction to occur.
A common side effect is dizziness. It is recommended not to drive or do any activities that require alertness. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding because there are no studies that show the potential side effects and risks to the infant.
This medicine should be used only if the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks and side effects. The doctor may advise you to use a proven form of birth control to help prevent pregnancy during the treatment.
5 Potential Side Effects
As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Tessalon Perles. These side effects do not occur in all patients, and they can be mild or serious.
It is very important to understand the potential side effects so that you will be able to notice their presence and inform the doctor for further directions.
The risk of a serious allergic reaction increases if you chew, break, or crush the capsule.
Get help right away if any of the following symptoms of an overdose appear:
Loss of consciousness
Shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
Stopping of the heart
Loss of blood pressure
Trembling of the hands or feet
Some years back, the FDA issued a warning that focused on accidental drug abuse in children who were below ten years of age. Benzonatate, as mentioned earlier, comes in the form of gelatin capsules, which, to children, can look like candy. When it turns into an overdose, the medication rapidly leads to tremors, coma, cardiac arrest, and convulsions or seizures. In small children under two years of age, overdoses due to accidental ingestion of only one or two capsules have been reported. Hence, the FDA issued strict warnings that listed multiple steps to be followed so that this medicine is kept away from children. Apart from children, this medicine is also said to have an effect on adults. It can lead to numbness in the chest, visual hallucinations, and feelings of confusion.
Currently, there are no known drugs or medications that can cause an interaction with Tessalon. However, there have been certain cases of severe reactions to the drug that may be related to taking painkillers or anesthetizing medicines at the same time. Hence, it is recommended to inform the doctor well before starting the course of treatment if you are on any drugs, including any prescription, non-prescription, over-the-counter, or recreational drugs, as well as any vitamins, supplements, herbal remedies, or nutritional supplements. Avoid drinking alcohol during the course of Tessalon since it can impact the nervous system and lead to drowsiness.
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