Brand Name(s):

  • Cogentin®

WHY is this medicine prescribed?

Benztropine mesylate is used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and tremors caused by other medical problems or drugs.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

HOW should this medicine be used?

Benztropine mesylate comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken at bedtime. It may be taken two or three times a day to treat tremors caused by other medical problems or drugs. You may not notice any improvement in your condition for 1-2 days. You may have to take benztropine mesylate for a long time to treat Parkinson's disease. However, it may only be needed for 1-2 weeks if your tremors are caused by other medical problems or drugs.

Your doctor may start with a small dose and increase it slowly after seeing your response to benztropine mesylate. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take benztropine mesylate exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Do not stop taking benztropine mesylate suddenly without talking with your doctor, especially if you are also taking other medications. Sudden stoppage can cause symptoms of Parkinson's disease to return.

Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

Benztropine mesylate is also used occasionally in geriatric patients who cannot take cerebral-stimulating medications. Talk with your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.

What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

Before taking benztropine mesylate,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to benztropine mesylate or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially amantadine (Symmetrel), digoxin (Lanoxin), haloperidol (Haldol), levodopa (Larodopa, Sinemet), tranquilizers such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine) or thioridazine (Mellaril), and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease; glaucoma; heart or blood pressure problems; myasthenia gravis; or problems with your urinary system, prostate, or stomach.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking benztropine mesylate, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking benztropine mesylate.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
  • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Benztropine mesylate may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?

Benztropine mesylate may cause an upset stomach. Take benztropine mesylate with food or milk.

What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

If you take benztropine mesylate once a day at bedtime and do not remember it until the next morning, skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

Side effects from benztropine mesylate are common. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • difficulty urinating
  • constipation

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • skin rash
  • fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
  • fever
  • confusion
  • depression
  • delusions or hallucinations
  • eye pain

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at Web Site] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • excitement
  • confusion
  • nervousness
  • seeing things that do not exist (hallucinating)
  • dizziness
  • muscle weakness
  • dry mouth
  • blurred vision
  • rapid or pounding heartbeat
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • painful urination
  • difficulty swallowing
  • skin rash
  • headache
  • hot, dry, flushed skin
  • bloody vomit
  • seizure
  • coma
  • heat stroke
  • heartburn
  • constipation

What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to benztropine mesylate.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Last Reviewed: September 1, 2010.