What is 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 muscle spasms, stiffness, sweating, drooling, 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 other purposes not listed in this medication guide.


You should not take this medication if you are allergic to benztropine, or if you are also taking a medication called pramlintide (Symlin).

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before you take benztropine, tell your doctor if you have:

  • glaucoma;
  • kidney or liver disease;
  • heart disease, a heart rhythm disorder, or a history of heart attack or stroke;
  • high or low blood pressure;
  • asthma, emphysema, or other breathing disorder;
  • a nerve disorder;
  • a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis;
  • seizures;
  • enlarged prostate;
  • overactive thyroid;
  • mental illness or dementia;
  • infectious diarrhea, ulcerative colitis;
  • stomach ulcer, reflux disease, hiatal hernia; or
  • a history of bowel obstruction or other intestinal disorder.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether benztropine is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, 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.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medication.

Children may be more likely to have an increased heart rate while taking benztropine.

Avoid taking a diarrhea medication (such as Kaopectate, Donnagel, or Rheaban) or an antacid (such as Amphojel, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Rulox, or Tums) within 2 hours before or after you take benztropine. These medications can make it harder for your body to absorb benztropine, which can make it less effective.

Also avoid taking ketoconazole (Nizoral) within 2 hours after you take benztropine. Benztropine can make it harder for your body to absorb ketoconazole.

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.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

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 decrease perspiration and you may be more prone to heat stroke.

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

Overdose can cause confusion, hallucinations, loss of balance or coordination, fever, urinating more or less than usual, vision problems, dilated pupils, fast or slow heartbeat, weak or shallow breathing, seizures, and fainting.

Benztropine is sometimes taken only when needed, so you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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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 a serious side effect such as:

  • high fever;
  • headache, dizziness, weakness, and hot dry skin with no sweating;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • severe stomach pain;
  • chest pain, fast or uneven heart rate;
  • painful or difficult swallowing;
  • impotence, trouble having an orgasm;
  • urination problems;
  • changes in your vision; or
  • confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, hallucinations.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, feeling nervous;
  • nausea, vomiting, constipation;
  • dry mouth, nose, or throat, decreased sweating;
  • blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light; or
  • warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Before using benztropine, tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by benztropine.

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • amantadine (Symmetrel);
  • donepezil (Aricept);
  • galantamine (Razadyne);
  • glycopyrrolate (Robinul);
  • mepenzolate (Cantil);
  • potassium supplements (K-Lyte, K-Dur, Klor-Con, and others);
  • atropine (Atreza, Sal-Tropine), belladonna (Donnatal, and others), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), meclizine (Antivert), methscopolamine (Pamine), or scopolamine (Transderm-Scop);
  • an antidepressant;
  • bladder or urinary medications such as darifenacin (Enablex), flavoxate (Urispas), oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol), tolterodine (Detrol), or solifenacin (Vesicare);
  • bronchodilators such as ipratropium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva);
  • a heart rhythm medication such as quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release), procainamide (Procan, Procanbid, Pronestyl), disopyramide (Norpace), propafenone, (Rythmol), and others;
  • irritable bowel medications such as dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others), or propantheline (Pro-Banthine);
  • an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate);
  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), risperidone (Risperdal), trazodone (Desyrel), and others;
  • narcotic pain medication; or
  • steroid medicine (prednisone and others).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with 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.

Other Names

Cogentin and benztropine

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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 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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