Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Benzonatate?

In our latest question and answer, we discuss the safety considerations when combining alcohol with benzonatate.

Question

Taking benzonatate 100 mg for a cough, just wanted to know if it is safe to have a glass of wine while taking this. We will not be driving or doing anything besides laying in bed.

Asked by Joe On Nov 16, 2017

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Nov 17, 2017

There is no drug interaction between benzonatate and alcohol, but both have sedative effects and need to be used together with caution.


Benzonatate is a non-narcotic medication most commonly used for cough symptoms associated with colds and acute respiratory infections. At normal dosages (maximum daily dose of 600 mg), benzonatate is not associated with respiratory depression or significant CNS (central nervous system) depression. This is an advantage over other drugs such as opioid-based cough medications (e.g. hydrocodone, codeine). 


While benzonatate is typically very well tolerated, it can cause mild sedation. When combined with alcohol, the sedative effect can be enhanced and you should not operate heavy machinery or partake in activities that require strict attention. 


Very rarely, drugs like benzonatate can cause mental confusion and strange behavior. This is extremely rare and should not be a problem if you have no prior history of these problems.


Since you plan to stay home, lying in bed, the combination of alcohol and benzonatate isn't considered particularly dangerous.

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Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

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