What is benztropine for?


Generic Name: benztropine (BENZ troe peen)
Brand Name: Cogentin

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Feb 15, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

  • Overview
  • Side Effects
  • Dosage
  • Professional
  • Interactions
  • More

What is Cogentin?

Cogentin reduces the effects of certain chemicals in the body that may be unbalanced as a result of disease (such as Parkinson’s), drug therapy, or other causes.

Cogentin is used together with other medicines to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (muscle spasms, stiffness, tremors, poor muscle control).

Cogentin 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.

Cogentin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Cogentin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 3 years old.

Certain side effects of benztropine may be more likely in older adults.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Cogentin if you are allergic to it.

Cogentin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 3 years old.

To make sure Cogentin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • glaucoma;

  • mental illness;

  • a nerve-muscle disorder;

  • a history of alcoholism;

  • a bowel or bladder obstruction;

  • urination problems;

  • kidney disease; or

  • if you are severely ill or otherwise debilitated.

Using Cogentin during pregnancy could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant while using Cogentin.

It is not known whether benztropine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Cogentin?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

It is best to take Cogentin at bedtime, especially if you take this medicine only once per day. Follow your doctor’s instructions.

It may take up to 3 days before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

Your mouth may feel dry while taking Cogentin. To prevent or relieve dry mouth, suck on a piece of sugar-free hard candy, chew sugar-free gum, drink water, chew on ice chips, or use a saliva substitute.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking Cogentin.

Dry mouth may lead to gum disease or cavities. Brush and floss your teeth regularly and see a dentist for routine check-ups while you are taking Cogentin.

You should not stop using any of your anti-Parkinson medications suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose can cause headache, severe dizziness, anxiety, confusion, trouble swallowing, hot and dry skin, dilated pupils, weak pulse, irregular heartbeats, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking Cogentin?

Cogentin may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Cogentin can decrease sweating and you may be more prone to heat stroke.

If you also take ketoconazole, do not take it within 2 hours before you take Cogentin.

Drinking alcohol with Cogentin can cause side effects.

Cogentin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • confusion, hallucinations;

  • severe mouth dryness that causes trouble talking or swallowing;

  • loss of appetite, weight loss;

  • severe constipation;

  • little or no urination;

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;

  • severe skin rash;

  • fever, severe weakness or dizziness; or

  • dehydration symptoms–feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin.

Side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, and confusion may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • dry mouth;

  • blurred vision; or

  • your eyes may be more sensitive to light.

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.

What other drugs will affect Cogentin?

Taking Cogentin with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking Cogentin with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • haloperidol;

  • a potassium supplement;

  • cold or allergy medicine that contains an antihistamine;

  • other medications for Parkinson’s disease;

  • medication to treat excess stomach acid, stomach ulcer, motion sickness, or irritable bowel syndrome;

  • an antidepressant–amitriptyline, doxepin, clomipramine, desipramine, imipramine, nortriptyline, protriptyline, trimipramine;

  • bladder or urinary medicine–darifenacin, fesoterodine, oxybutynin, tolterodine, solifenacin;

  • a bronchodilator–aclidinium, ipratropium, tiotropium, umeclidinium; or

  • a phenothiazine–chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine, promethazine, thioridazine, trifluoperazine.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with benztropine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.01.

Medical Disclaimer

More about Cogentin (benztropine)

  • Side Effects
  • During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
  • Dosage Information
  • Drug Images
  • Drug Interactions
  • Compare Alternatives
  • Support Group
  • Pricing & Coupons
  • En Español
  • 7 Reviews
  • Generic Availability
  • Drug class: anticholinergic antiparkinson agents
  • FDA Alerts (2)

Consumer resources

  • Cogentin
  • Cogentin (Advanced Reading)
  • Cogentin Injection (Advanced Reading)

Professional resources

  • Cogentin (AHFS Monograph)
  • … +1 more

Related treatment guides

  • Extrapyramidal Reaction
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 4/22/2019

Cogentin (benztropine mesylate) is an anti-Parkinson’s agent and anticholinergic agent prescribed for treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and related drug-induced side effects. Cogentin is available as a generic drug. Common side effects of Cogentin include:

  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • headache,
  • loss of appetite,
  • nausea,
  • stomach upset,
  • vision changes,
  • sleeplessness,
  • trembling of the hands,
  • numbness in your fingers,
  • depression,
  • memory problems,
  • nervousness,
  • excitability,
  • dry mouth,
  • double vision, or
  • increased sensitivity to light.

Cogentin usual adult dose ranges from 0.5 – 6 mg/day in 1-2 divided doses. Cogentin may interact with alcohol, 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), amantadine, glycopyrrolate, mepenzolate, diuretics (water pills), potassium supplements, antidepressants, atropine, belladonna, dimenhydrinate, meclizine, methscopolamine, scopolamine, bladder or urinary medications, bronchodilators, irritable bowel medications, medicines to treat Alzheimer’s dementia, or medicines to treat psychiatric disorders. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Cogentin; it is unknown if it will harm a fetus. It is unknown if Cogentin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Cogentin Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication. articles.

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.

Benztropine tablets

What is this medicine?

BENZTROPINE (BENZ troe peen) is for certain movement problems due to Parkinson’s disease, certain medicines, or other causes.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.


What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • glaucoma

  • heart disease or a rapid heartbeat

  • mental problems

  • prostate trouble

  • tardive dyskinesia

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to benztropine, other medicines, lactose, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 3 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • haloperidol

  • medicines for movement abnormalities like Parkinson’s disease

  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine

  • some antidepressants like amitriptyline, desipramine, doxepin, nortriptyline

  • stimulant medicines for attention, weight loss, and to stay awake

  • tegaserod

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

This medicine may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your eye doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

You may sweat less than usual while you are taking this medicine. As a result your body temperature could rise to a dangerous level. Be careful not to get overheated during exercise or in hot weather. You could get heat stroke. Avoid taking hot baths and using hot tubs and saunas.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • changes in vision

  • confusion

  • decreased sweating or heat intolerance

  • depression

  • fast, irregular heartbeat

  • hallucinations

  • memory loss

  • muscle weakness

  • pain or difficulty passing urine

  • vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation

  • dry mouth

  • nausea

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store below 30 degrees C (86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Pharmacology Guide

Special thanks to Dr. Ron Browning, Dept. of Physiology, School of Medicine, Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), for his contribution to, and review of, this information.

Instructions: Click on the drug name for detailed information about that medication (e.g. description, dosage, side effects, warnings, etc.).

Please note: The information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a health/medical condition or medication.

Psychotherapeutics Agents

Anti-Anxiety/Anti-Panic Agents

  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)

Anti-Anxiety/Anti-Panic Agents

selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: SSRI’s


Tricyclic Anti-Depressants

  • Norpramin (desipramine)
  • Sinequan (doxepin)
  • Surmontil (trimipramine)
  • Vivactil (protriptyline)
  • Elavil (amitriptyline)
  • Pamelor (nortriptyline)

Anti-Psychotic Agents
atypical (anti-psychotics with lower incidence of extrapyramidal “EPS” side effects)

  • Risperdal (risperidone)
  • Zyprexa (olanzapine)
  • Geodon (ziprasidone)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate)
  • Clozaril (clozapine)
  • Abilify (aripiprazole)

Anti-Psychotic Agents
typical (not typically recommended for the brain injured individual without careful evaluation by psychiatry and neuropsychology due to high incidence of EPS)

  • Thorazine (chlorpromazine)
  • Haldol (haloperidol)
  • Cogentin (benztropine)*
    (NOTE: Cogentin is not an anti-psychotic agent, but is used in conjunction with them to reduce the incidence of EPS.)

Mood Stabilizers

NOTE: all of these, except lithium are primarily marketed as anti-epileptic drugs, but are very effective as mood stabilizers especially to reduce mania

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Management

  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Anafranil (clomipramine)


  • Ritalin, Concerta, and Metadate (methylphenidate)
  • Adderall (amphetamine)
  • Provigil (modafinil)
  • Strattera (atomoxetine)
  • Nuvigil (armodafinil)
  • Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate)

Motor System


  • Lioresal (baclofen)
  • Dantrium (dantrolene sodium)
  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)
  • Zanaflex (tizanidine)
  • Skelaxin (metaxalone)

non-systemic, local

  • Botox (botulinum toxin A)
  • Baclofen IT (intrathecal) pump


  • Parlodel (bromocriptine)
  • Symmetrel (amantadine)
  • Sinemet (L-DOPA/carbidopa)
  • Mirapex (pramipexole)
  • Requip (ropinirole)

hydantoin class

  • Dilantin (phenytoin)
  • Cerebyx (fosphenytoin sodium)

benzodiazepine class

  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Valium (diazepam)


Memory/Cognition (Cholinesterase Inhibitors)

  • Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride)
  • Razadyne (galantamine)
  • Exelon (rivastigmine)
  • Cognex (tacrine hydrochloride)
  • Namenda (memantine)

Pain Management

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Anti-Migraine Drugs
selective 5-HT receptor agonists

  • Imitrex (sumatriptan)
  • Maxalt (rizatriptan)
  • Amerge (naratriptan)
  • Zomig (zolmitriptan)
  • Axert (almotriptan)


  • Inderal (propranolol)

Non-Narcotic Analgesics

  • Extra-Strength Excedrin (acetaminophen/aspirin/caffeine)
  • Fiorinal (aspirin/caffeine/butalbital)
  • Fioricet (acetaminophen/caffeine/butalbital)
  • Midrin (isometheptene mucate/dichloralphenazone)

Narcotic Class

  • MS Contin (morphine sulfate)
  • OxyContin (oxycodone hydrochloride)
  • Percocet (acetaminophen/oxycodone hydrochloride)
  • Demerol (meperidine hydrochloride)
  • Codeine
  • Lortab (acetaminophen/hydrocodone bitartrate)
  • Darvon-N 100 (propoxyphene napsylate)
  • Darvocet (propoxyphene napsylate/acetaminophen)
  • Tylenol w/codeine
  • Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)
  • Percodan (oxycodone/aspirin)
  • Norco (hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen)

Analgesic Agents

  • Tegretol
  • Neurontin

Hypnotic/Sleep Agents

  • Sonata (zaleplon)
  • Ambien (zolpidem)
  • Restoril (temazepam)
  • Lunesta (Eszopiclone)

Atypical Hypnotic

  • Desyrel (trazodone)


  • Antabuse (disulfiram), an alcoholic deterrent.
  • Antivert (meclizine hydrochloride, a piperazine-derivative antihistamine), an antiemetic, antivertigo.
  • Wellbutrin (Bupropion), used as an anti-depressant and also used in smoking cessation (through it effects on dopamine system)

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