Also Known As: Tessalon, Benzonatate, Tessalon Perles

Benzonatate or 2,5,8,11,14,17,20,23,26-nonaoxaoctacosan-28-yl para-butylaminobenzoate is a non-opioid oral antitussive (cough suppressant) with effects that last from 6 to 8 hours. Since it is not an opioid, benzonatate is not prone to abuse like some other cough medications such as codeine. Benzonatate was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1958.

Benzonatate is thought to act as a local anesthetic, decreasing the sensitivity of stretch receptors in the lower airway and lung, thereby reducing the drive to cough after taking a deep breath.[2]

An antitussive, benzonatate is employed to reduce coughing in various respiratory conditions such as, bronchitis, emphysema, influenza, and pneumonia. It should never be used to suppress a productive cough or in place of treatment of the actual cause of cough, such as asthma treatment. [2]

It has been used in small doses as a topical anesthetic for mouth or pharyngeal pain. This practice is not recommended, because the oropharyngeal anesthesia may result in pulmonary aspiration.[3]

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