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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Unusually rapid or slow heartbeat, heart palpitations, abnormal behavior, confusion, bowel obstruction. Call your doctor immediately.
Common

Constipation. It can be reduced by drinking more fluids and eating high-fiber foods.
Less Common

Restlessness, irritability, disorientation, headache, sleepiness, depression, muscle weakness, eye sensitivity to light, dry mouth, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, increased body temperature, decreased sweating.
Benztropine Mesylate


Drug Class:
Antiparkinsonism drug

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: Yes

Generic 2 mg
(PAR)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Capsules, injection

Why Prescribed
To treat Parkinson's disease or the adverse effects of some central nervous system drugs, which produce Parkinson-like symptoms or affect muscle control.

How It Works
The exact mechanism of action is unknown, but it is believed to help increase the release of certain neurological chemicals that improve control over muscle movement.

Range and Frequency
For Parkinson's disease: 0.5 to 6 mg per day in 1 dose at bedtime. For drug-induced Parkinson reactions: 1 to 4 mg per day either in 1 dose or 2 to 3 doses. For drug-induced nervous system effects: 1 to 4 mg per day in 1 to 3 doses.

Onset of Effect
Within 1 to 2 hours.

Duration of Action
Up to 24 hours.

Dietary Advice
Benztropine can be taken with food to reduce stomach irritation.

Storage
Store this medicine in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light.

Missed Dose
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless the next scheduled dose is to be taken within 2 hours. In that case, skip the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Do not stop taking benztropine suddenly. If therapy is to be discontinued, dosage should be reduced gradually, according to your doctor's instructions.

Prolonged Use
Prolonged use of this drug may increase pressure in the eye and thus increase the risk of glaucoma, especially in older persons.

Over 60
Side effects may be more common in older persons. Smaller starting doses are advisable.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Avoid driving and hazardous work until you determine if the drug causes drowsiness.

Alcohol
Alcohol should be avoided or used with caution because it may increase the sedative effects of this medication.

Pregnancy
Benztropine may affect the unborn child's intestinal tract. Do not use the drug while pregnant.

Breast Feeding
It is not known whether benztropine passes into breast milk. Do not use the drug while breast feeding.

Infants and Children
Not generally prescribed for children under the age of 3. Your doctor must determine the exact dosage for older children.

Special Concerns
Eye pressure should be measured regularly because of the risk of glaucoma. Limit physical activity in hot weather.

Overdose Symptoms
Clumsiness, drowsiness, fast or slow heartbeat, flushed skin, breathing difficulty, seizures, loss of consciousness, muscle weakness, inability to sweat, uncoordinated movement.

What to Do
Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
The activity of benztropine can affect or be affected by many drugs. Talk to your doctor about any drug you are taking, especially phenothiazines, tricyclic antidepressants, and amantadine.

Food Interactions
None are expected.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor if you have glaucoma, high blood pressure, heart disease, impaired liver function, kidney disease, or myasthenia gravis.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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