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All about: Cogentin

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Generic Name: benztropine (BENZ troe peen)
Brand Names: Cogentin

What is Cogentin (benztropine)?

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 stiffness, tremors, spasms, 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 purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Cogentin (benztropine)?

Before using benztropine, tell your doctor you have glaucoma, a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis, a history of tremor or uncontrolled muscle movements, or a history of bowel obstruction or other intestinal disorder.

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.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Cogentin (benztropine)?

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to benztropine.

Before using benztropine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • glaucoma;

  • a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis;

  • a history of tremor or uncontrolled muscle movements; or

  • a history of bowel obstruction or other intestinal disorder.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use benztropine, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether benztropine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Cogentin (benztropine)?

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.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water. Benztropine can be taken with food to lessen stomach upset.

It may be best to take this medication at bedtime. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Store benztropine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention of you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a benztropine overdose may include weakness, confusion, hallucinations, loss of balance, dry mouth, constipation, problems urinating, blurred vision, fast or pounding heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, numbness in your fingers, headache, hot or dry skin, dizziness, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Cogentin (benztropine)?

Benztropine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. 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 reduce your body's ability to sweat, which may result in heat stroke.

Cogentin (benztropine) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using benztropine and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • fast heartbeat;

  • uncontrolled tremor or muscle movements;

  • constipation with stomach pain or intestinal cramps;

  • problems with speaking or swallowing;

  • confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, hallucinations;

  • hot, dry skin without sweating; or

  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Keep taking benztropine and talk to your doctor if you have of these less serious side effects:

  • nausea, vomiting, or mild constipation;

  • dry mouth;

  • blurred vision;

  • trouble with memory or concentration;

  • feeling nervous or depressed;

  • muscle weakness, stiffness, or other problems; or

  • numbness or tingling.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Cogentin (benztropine)?

Before taking benztropine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), mesoridazine (Serentil), pimozide (Orap), or thioridazine (Mellaril); or

  • antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), amoxapine (Ascendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), or trimipramine (Surmontil).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use benztropine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect 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.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about benztropine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Benztropine is available with a prescription under the brand name Cogentin. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Cogentin 0.5 mg--white, round, scored tablets

  • Cogentin 1 mg--white, oval, scored tablets

  • Cogentin 2 mg--white, round, scored tablets

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.08. Revision Date: 2/14/07 1:43:52 PM.

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