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What is Benzonatate (Tessalon)?

Benzonatate is used to relieve coughs due to colds or influenza (flu). It is not to be used for chronic cough that occurs with smoking, asthma, or emphysema or when there is an unusually large amount of mucus or phlegm with the cough. Benzonatate relieves cough by acting directly on the lungs and the breathing passages. It may also act on the cough center in the brain. This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription. Benzonatate should not be taken for more than ten days. If the cough does not improve within this time, or if it gets worse, the person should consult their doctor. Benzonatate and alcohol can cause sedation and dizziness, so caution is recommended when combined.

Benzonatate (Tessalon Perles) was approved in 1958 as a peripherally-acting antitussive for its ability to inhibit cough before its mechanism of action was understood entirely. Benzonatate is available in 100 or 200 mg capsules, with a maximum daily dose of 600 mg/day. It is not approved for children under 10 years of age. In 2010 [1], benzonatate received attention when it was assigned a black-box warning because the capsules resemble candy, which may be desirable to young children. When the capsule is broken open, either by sucking or chewing, and the liquid drug is released into the oral cavity, a single tablet is believed to be enough to cause death in a child.

How does Benzonatate work? Benzonatate is a non-narcotic cough medicine that numbs the throat and lungs, making the cough reflex less active. This medication treats symptoms, not the underlying condition. It is often prescribed with other treatments, such as medications to relieve a sore throat or antibiotics to treat the infection. This medication treats symptoms, not the underlying condition. It is often prescribed with other treatments, such as medications to relieve a sore throat or antibiotics to treat the infection.

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Can You Take Benzonatate and Drink Alcohol?

The official FDA label for Tessalon Perles, the brand name of benzonatate, does not list any drug interaction involving alcohol. There is no specific drug interaction between benzonatate 200 mg and alcohol, but both have sedative effects and can make you feel dizzy, so they must be used together with caution. Additionally, since most individuals taking benzonatate are sick (typically treating cough due to infection), alcohol isn’t a good idea to consume anyway.

It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol until you are done taking this medication. Since Tessalon Perles and alcohol can cause sleepiness and dizziness, drinking alcohol with the medication can heighten these side effects, leading to accidental injuries. You should always consult a healthcare provider for medical help if you’re unsure whether it’s safe to mix any substances with benzonatate, including other drugs or alcohol. 

benzonatate and alcohol
Both benzonatate 200mg capsules and alcohol can cause sedation and dizziness. Combining both can enhance these effects.

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benzonatate and alcohol
 If you are recovering from an infection, the consumption of alcohol isn’t recommended.

What Happens When You Mix Benzonatate and Alcohol?

Can you drink beer and take benzonatate? This is a question that many people ask when they have been prescribed this medication. There is no interaction between alcohol and benzonatate. This means that it is safe to drink alcohol while taking this medication. However, it is important to remember that benzonatate can cause drowsiness. Drinking alcohol while taking this medication may cause the person to feel more drowsy. It is important to use caution when drinking alcohol while taking benzonatate.

Benzonatate, a non-narcotic cough medication, is available in several strengths. The antibiotic Tessalon can be beneficial when a dry cough is present. The device can be used for up to eight hours or 15 minutes. Cough syrup and alcohol combined can cause dizziness and drowsiness. A strong alcoholic beverage can make you feel less healthy. It can also cause severe side effects if taken with cold medications.

The Most Common Side Effects of Benzonatate

Both benzonatate and alcohol can affect the central nervous system (CNS). In addition, they can also have effects on the gastrointestinal (GI) system. Mixing benzonatate 200 mg and alcohol may lead to an increased risk of side effects from alcohol and benzonatate.

Benzonatate may cause various side effects, but the most common side effects may include:

  • Sedation 
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Itching
  • Skin rash
  • Constipation 
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Chest numbness
  • Stuffy nose
  • Chills
  • Irritation or burning in the eyes
  • Confusion
  • Visual hallucinations

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Benzonatate and Alcohol
What happens if you drink alcohol while taking benzonatate? Does drinking alcohol decrease your immune system?

Serious Side Effects of Benzonatate


When benzonatate is taken as prescribed, serious side effects are rare. Benzonatate’s most serious side effects include allergic reactions, which can be triggered by sucking or chewing the capsule instead of swallowing it. Sucking or chewing a benzonatate capsule can cause the active ingredients to release into the mouth and throat. Signs and symptoms of an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction to benzonatate include:

  • Anaphylaxis, which can be indicated by skin rash, difficulty breathing, and a dangerous drop in blood pressure
  • Bronchospasm, or constriction of the airways
  • Laryngospasm, or constriction of the vocal cords

Allergic reactions to benzonatate can be life-threatening. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction to benzonatate. 

Alcohol and Other Antitussives

Dextromethorphan is another antitussive or cough suppressant widely available over the counter (OTC). It can also cause CNS depressant effects, much like alcohol. Mixing alcohol and dextromethorphan could lead to increased CNS side effects, such as drowsiness.  Cough medicines, in general, may also contain other drugs, such as antihistamines or opioids. Some cough syrups may contain an antihistamine, such as promethazine or diphenhydramine, or an opioid, such as codeine. Although they may help relieve a pesky cough, cough medicines commonly cause CNS side effects, such as drowsiness and dizziness.  

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Alcoholism Treatment

First and foremost, if you think a loved one is abusing Benzonatate and alcohol, you should research the drug and its associated addiction to understand better what your loved one needs.  Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle the effects of Benzonatate and alcohol abuse in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, show your support throughout the entire treatment process.

In addition, prolonged drug use can have severe physical and psychological effects on you, so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you promptly get through the early stages of alcohol withdrawal

Benzonatate and Alcohol Detox Treatment

Benzonatate and alcohol detox is the process of weaning someone off of a dependency on a substance. It allows members of rehab centers like We Level Up NJ to recover safely and comfortably. While an uncomfortable withdrawal from alcohol is unavoidable, it doesn’t have to be unbearable.

Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated Benzonatate and alcohol withdrawal from alcohol and Benzonatate but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete the Benzonatate and alcohol detox.

Cravings are very common during Benzonatate and alcohol detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give the necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and Benzonatate and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient Alcohol and Benzonatate Rehab

There isn’t one treatment approach or style that will suit everyone. Treatment should speak to the needs of the individual. Inpatient rehab and addiction treatment aren’t just about drug use. the goal is to help the patient stop using alcohol and other substances, but alcohol rehab should also focus on the whole person’s needs.

Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. When someone or their family is considering different treatment facilities, they should account for the complexity of addiction and the needs of the individual. The objective of attending an inpatient rehab center for addiction treatment is to stop using the drug and re-learn how to live a productive life without it.

Following a full medical detox, most people benefit from inpatient rehab. Inpatient drug rehab can last anywhere from 28 days to several months. Patients stay overnight in the rehab facility and participate in intensive treatment programs and therapy. Once someone completes rehab, their addiction treatment team will create an aftercare plan, which may include continuing therapy and participation in a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous.


Many rehab programs will also have early morning classes or programs. Group sessions occur during inpatient rehab, as do individual therapy sessions. Family therapy may be part of inpatient rehab when it’s feasible. Alternative forms of therapy may be introduced during inpatient rehab, like a holistic therapy program, yoga for addiction recovery, or an addiction treatment massage therapy.

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Solution-focused therapy is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorders and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend mainly on the treatment for both diseases done by the same team or provider.

Medication Assisted Treatments (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery through our opioid addiction treatment program medically. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Alcohol Rehab Near Me

Alcohol and Benzonatate addiction is a condition that can cause major health problems, such as an overdose. We Level Up NJ rehab treatment & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition and give you clarity about issues like Benzonatate and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.

Benzonatate and Alcohol
If you find yourself addicted to combining and taking these two substances, it is crucial to get help. 
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