Mar 30, 2024



Benzonatate vs. Traditional Cough Medicines: Efficacy, Dosage, and Cost


Always seek advice from your healthcare provider before starting any new medication regimen.

Coughing disrupts daily life and requires effective treatment for relief. Benzonatate stands out as a modern solution compared to traditional cough remedies. Understanding its dosage, side effects, cost-saving options like CareCard, and alternatives is vital for making informed health choices.

Discover the best prices for  benzonatate and access free instant savings coupons for your local pharmacy using our exclusive prescriptions discount card. No insurance or sign up is necessary.

Understanding Benzonatate and Its Dosage

Benzonatate, commercially known as Tessalon or Tessalon Perles, is different from traditional cough suppressants due to its unique mechanism of action. Unlike cough syrups containing dextromethorphan or codeine, benzonatate numbs the throat and lung areas, thereby reducing the cough reflex. 

This non-narcotic medication, typically prescribed in capsule form, is not habit-forming or sedative. For adults and children over ten years old, the typical dosage ranges from 100 mg to 200 mg, taken up to three times daily as directed by a physician. Adhering strictly to the prescribed dosage is essential to mitigate the risk of adverse effects.

Comparing Efficacy

While traditional cough medicines aim to suppress the cough reflex or loosen mucus, benzonatate tackles coughing by numbing the cough receptors in the airways. Its effectiveness usually starts within 15 to 20 minutes of ingestion and can last for several hours, providing a modern approach to cough management without the sedative effects associated with many older cough medicines.

Side Effects of Benzonatate

While benzonatate is well-tolerated by many, it's not without potential side effects. These can include:

  • Dizziness or headache

  • Nausea or stomach upset

  • Skin rash or itching

  • Sensation of chest numbness

Serious side effects are rare but require immediate medical attention. They include hallucinations, confusion, or breathing difficulties.

Reducing Costs With CareCard

The cost of prescription medications can be a barrier to treatment. CareCard helps by providing discounts on medications, including benzonatate, making it more affordable than traditional insurance or Medicare Part D prices. By using CareCard at participating pharmacies, patients can significantly reduce their out-of-pocket medication expenses.

Alternative Cough Medications

For those seeking alternatives to benzonatate or traditional remedies like dextromethorphan or codeine-based syrups, several options exist:

  • Guaifenesin: An expectorant that helps clear mucus from the airways.

  • Antihistamines: Can help if the cough is due to allergies.

  • Honey and lemon: Natural remedies that can soothe the throat and ease coughing.

Always discuss with a healthcare provider before switching medications or trying new treatments, especially if you have ongoing health conditions or are taking other medications.


Choosing between benzonatate and traditional cough medicines involves understanding their differences in efficacy, dosage, and side effects. Prescription discount card options like CareCard can make the cost of benzonatate more manageable, ensuring patients can access the treatments they need. 

Always consult a healthcare professional to find the most suitable cough treatment for your specific needs, considering medical and financial aspects.


What is the recommended dosage for benzonatate?

Adults and children over ten can take 100 mg to 200 mg up to three times daily. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully.

What are the common side effects of benzonatate?

They include dizziness, headache, nausea, and skin rash. Seek medical attention for severe reactions.

How can CareCard help reduce the cost of benzonatate?

CareCard provides discounts on medications, including benzonatate, potentially offering lower prices than Medicare Part D or other insurance plans.

What are some alternatives to benzonatate for cough treatment?

Alternatives include over-the-counter expectorants like guaifenesin, antihistamines for allergy-induced coughs, and natural remedies like honey and lemon.

Can I combine benzonatate with other cough medicines?

Combining medications should only be done under the guidance of a healthcare provider to avoid adverse interactions.

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Pharmacy names, logos, brands, and other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Prescription savings may vary by prescription and by pharmacy, and in some cases may be discounted up to 85% off cash price*. Please note, this is NOT insurance. CareCard offers you the opportunity to find prescription discount prices, which ultimately depend on the provider. You are fully responsible for paying for all health care services but will be entitled to receive a discount from those health care providers in accordance with the specific pre-negotiated discounted rates. CareCard Inc. is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the pharmacies identified in its price comparisons. This information is not mean to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. For additional information, please reach our customer support at 1-866-410-1217, Mon- Friday 9am – 5pm Est or email us at By using the CareCard prescription discount card or service, you are agreeing to CareCard’s Terms of Service.

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