Why is this medication prescribed?
Benztropine is used along with other medications to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD; a disorder of the nervous system that causes difficulties with movement, muscle control, and balance) and tremors caused by other medical problems or medications. Benztropine is in a class of medications called anticholinergics. It works by blocking a certain natural substance (acetylcholine) to help to decrease symptoms in people with Parkinson's disease.
How should this medicine be used?
Benztropine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken at bedtime. It is usually taken once daily but may be taken up to four times a day depending on your symptoms. Take benztropine at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take benztropine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start with a small dose and increase it slowly after seeing your response to benztropine. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
Do not stop taking benztropine 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.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking benztropine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to benztropine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in the benztropine preparation. Ask your doctor or pharmacist or check the package label for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: tricyclic antidepressants such as desipramine (Norpramin), clomipramine (Anafranil), imipramine (Tofranil), or trimipramine (Surmontil) or haloperidol (Haldol).
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had tardive dyskinesia (uncontrollable movement of the face, tongue, or other body parts); glaucoma; prostatic hypertrophy (BPH, enlargement of the prostate gland) or other problems with your urinary system; or heart or blood pressure problems.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking benztropine , call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking benztropine.
- 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 benztropine.
- plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Benztropine may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
- talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking benztropine if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take benztropine because it is not as safe or effective as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget 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.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Side effects from benztropine are common. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth
- difficulty or pain when urinating
- loss of appetite
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
- delusions or hallucinations
- vision changes
Benztropine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
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 (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) 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).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- seeing things that do not exist (hallucinating)
- muscle weakness
- dry mouth
- blurred vision
- rapid or pounding heartbeat
- upset stomach
- painful urination
- difficulty swallowing
- hot, dry, flushed skin
- bloody vomit
- heat stroke
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.
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.
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.