Generic Name: benztropine (BENZ troe peen)Brand Names: Cogentin
Benztropine reduces the effects of certain chemicals in the body that may become unbalanced as a result of disease (such as Parkinson's), drug therapy, or other causes.
Benztropine is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as muscle spasms, stiffness, sweating, drooling, and poor muscle control. Benztropine is also used to treat and prevent these symptoms when they are caused by drugs such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), perphenazine (Trilafon), and others.
Benztropine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before you take benztropine, tell if you have glaucoma, kidney or liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, a history of heart attack or stroke, a breathing disorder, a nerve or muscle disorder, seizures, urination problems, overactive thyroid, mental illness, or a stomach or intestinal disorder.
Avoid taking a diarrhea medication or antacid within 2 hours before or after you take benztropine. Also avoid taking ketoconazole (Nizoral) within 2 hours after you take benztropine.Benztropine can cause side effects that may impair your vision, thinking, or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.
Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Benztropine can decrease perspiration and you may be more prone to heat stroke.Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before you take benztropine, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease, a heart rhythm disorder, or a history of heart attack or stroke;
high or low blood pressure;
asthma, emphysema, or other breathing disorder;
a nerve disorder;
a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis;
mental illness or dementia;
infectious diarrhea, ulcerative colitis;
stomach ulcer, reflux disease, hiatal hernia; or
a history of bowel obstruction or other intestinal disorder.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
Benztropine is sometimes given up to 4 times daily, at meals and at bedtime. If you take benztropine only once per day, it may be best to take the medication at bedtime. Follow your doctor's instructions.Benztropine can be taken with food to lessen stomach upset.
Your mouth may feel dry while taking benztropine. To prevent or relieve dry mouth, suck on a piece of sugar-free hard candy, chew sugar-free gum, drink water, chew on ice chips, or use a saliva substitute.
Dry mouth may lead to gum disease or cavities. Brush and floss your teeth regularly and see a dentist for routine check-ups while you are taking benztropine.It may take up to 3 days of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse. Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely. Store benztropine at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and light
See also: Benztropine dosage in more detail
Benztropine is sometimes taken only when needed, so you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose can cause confusion, hallucinations, loss of balance or coordination, fever, urinating more or less than usual, vision problems, dilated pupils, fast or slow heartbeat, weak or shallow breathing, seizures, and fainting.
Avoid taking a diarrhea medication (such as Kaopectate, Donnagel, or Rheaban) or an antacid (such as Amphojel, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Rulox, or Tums) within 2 hours before or after you take benztropine. These medications can make it harder for your body to absorb benztropine, which can make it less effective.
Also avoid taking ketoconazole (Nizoral) within 2 hours after you take benztropine. Benztropine can make it harder for your body to absorb ketoconazole.Benztropine can cause side effects that may impair your vision, thinking, or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of benztropine.
Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Benztropine can decrease perspiration and you may be more prone to heat stroke.
headache, dizziness, weakness, and hot dry skin with no sweating;
feeling like you might pass out;
severe stomach pain;
chest pain, fast or uneven heart rate;
painful or difficult swallowing;
impotence, trouble having an orgasm;
changes in your vision; or
confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, hallucinations.
Less serious side effects may include:
drowsiness, feeling nervous;
nausea, vomiting, constipation;
dry mouth, nose, or throat, decreased sweating;
blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light; or
warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for Extrapyramidal Reaction:
Acute dystonic reaction:Initial: 1 to 2 mg administered IM or IV one time usually relieves the acute condition.Maintenance: 1 to 2 mg orally administered once or twice a day as needed until the source of the dystonia (e.g., phenothiazine or other drug) has been removed. Once the offending agent has been discontinued, benztropine therapy should be continued for 24 to 72 hours, then ceased.
Usual Adult Dose for Parkinson's Disease:
Initial: 0.5 to 2 mg administered orally, IM, or IV, once a day. Idiopathic parkinsonism: start with a dose of 0.5 to 1 mg orally once daily at bedtime. postencephalitic parkinsonism: most patients require larger doses. It may be appropriate to initiate therapy at 1 to 2 mg orally once daily at bedtime. Maintenance: titration up from the initial dose should occur gradually by raising the dose in 0.5 mg increments every 5 to 6 days, up to 6 mg/day, until optimal relief is obtained.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Extrapyramidal Reaction:
0 to 3 years: use of benztropine in this patient population should be restricted to life-threatening emergencies. > 3 years: 0.02 to 0.05 mg/kg administered orally, IM, or IV 1 to 2 times a day.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
potassium supplements (K-Lyte, K-Dur, Klor-Con, and others);
atropine (Atreza, Sal-Tropine), belladonna (Donnatal, and others), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), meclizine (Antivert), methscopolamine (Pamine), or scopolamine (Transderm-Scop);
bladder or urinary medications such as darifenacin (Enablex), flavoxate (Urispas), oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol), tolterodine (Detrol), or solifenacin (Vesicare);
bronchodilators such as ipratropium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva);
a heart rhythm medication such as quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release), procainamide (Procan, Procanbid, Pronestyl), disopyramide (Norpace), propafenone, (Rythmol), and others;
irritable bowel medications such as dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others), or propantheline (Pro-Banthine);
an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate);
medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), risperidone (Risperdal), trazodone (Desyrel), and others;
narcotic pain medication; or
steroid medicine (prednisone and others).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with benztropine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.