Common Brand Name(s): Cogentin
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Benztropine is used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease or involuntary movements due to the side effects of certain psychiatric drugs (antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine/haloperidol). Benztropine belongs to a class of medication called anticholinergics that work by blocking a certain natural substance (acetylcholine). This helps decrease muscle stiffness, sweating, and the production of saliva, and helps improve walking ability in people with Parkinson's disease.
Anticholinergics can stop severe muscle spasms of the back, neck, and eyes that are sometimes caused by psychiatric drugs. It can also decrease other side effects such as muscle stiffness/rigidity (extrapyramidal signs-EPS). It is not helpful in treating movement problems caused by tardive dyskinesia and may worsen them. Benztropine should not be used by children younger than 3 years.
How To Use
If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional.
Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.
This medication is given by injection into a vein or into a muscle, as directed by your doctor, usually 2 to 4 times a day or as a single dose at bedtime.
Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day.
If you are using this medication for side effects from another medication, your doctor may instruct you to use it on a regular schedule or only as needed. If you are using this medication for Parkinson's disease, your doctor may change the dose of your other medications (such as levodopa). Follow your doctor's instructions closely.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Do not increase your dose, use it more often, or use it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
It may take 2-3 days before the benefit of this drug takes effect. Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.
Drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, flushing, nausea, nervousness, blurred vision, or dry mouth may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
To relieve dry mouth, suck (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- high fever
- decreased sexual ability
- severe stomach/abdominal pain
- difficult/painful swallowing
- difficulty urinating
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:
- chest pain
- severe dizziness/fainting
- fast/irregular/slow heartbeat
- mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations, memory problems)
- eye pain/swelling/redness
- vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night)
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using benztropine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- personal or family history of glaucoma (angle-closure type)
- breathing problems (such as asthma, emphysema)
- diarrhea caused by an infection
- heart problems (such as angina, heart attack, heart failure, fast/irregular heartbeat)
- high/low blood pressure
- intestinal problems (such as chronic constipation, ileus, ulcerative colitis, bowel obstruction)
- blockage of the bladder/esophagus/stomach/intestines
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- mental/mood problems (such as anxiety, dementia, psychosis)
- a certain muscle disease (myasthenia gravis)
- a certain nerve disease (autonomic neuropathy)
- stomach problems (such as acid reflux, hiatal hernia, ulcer)
- overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- problems urinating (for example, due to enlarged prostate, neurogenic bladder)
- personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol)
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
This medication decreases saliva production, an effect that can increase gum and tooth problems (such as cavities, gum disease). Take special care with your dental hygiene (such as brushing, flossing) and have regular dental check-ups.
Benztropine may make you sweat less, making you more likely to get heat stroke. Avoid doing things that may cause you to overheat, such as hard work or exercise in hot weather, or using hot tubs. When the weather is hot, drink a lot of fluids and dress lightly. If you overheat, quickly look for a place to cool down and rest. Get medical help right away if you have a fever that does not go away, mental/mood changes, headache, or dizziness.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, drowsiness, heatstroke, memory problems, difficulty urinating, and constipation. Dizziness and drowsiness can increase the risk of falling.
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially effects on heart rate.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug are:
- potassium tablets/capsules
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
This medication may interfere with certain medical/lab tests (including brain scan for Parkinson's disease), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: unusually fast/slow heartbeat, slow/shallow breathing, unconsciousness, seizures, loss of coordination, fever, hot/dry/flushed skin, widened pupils, change in vision, change in the amount of urine, confusion, hallucinations.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as eye exams) should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.
People with Parkinson's disease may have an increased risk for developing skin cancer (melanoma). If you are using this drug to treat Parkinson's disease, tell your doctor promptly if you notice a change in the appearance or size of moles or other unusual skin changes. Ask your doctor if you should have regular skin exams.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised November 2019.
Copyright(c) 2019 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.