Benztropine (Oral)

Benztropine is a medication that is administered to patients who suffer from the effects of Parkinson's disease, as well as people who have reactions to medications used to treat emotional and nervous issues.

Overview

Benztropine is a drug which aids in reducing the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. It is used to reduce muscle stiffness and promotes more normal function and movement. In some cases, it can also be used to treat negative, severe reactions to drugs that are used to help control a variety of emotional, mental, and nervous conditions.

This medication is not intended for use in patients who are under the age of three years. This drug is administered orally and should be taken on the schedule your doctor provides for you. Do not skip doses when taking this medication. If you do miss your dose, take it as soon as you remember, or if it is time for your next dose, only take one dose.

Do not store this medication where children and pets can easily access it. Keep it in the original prescription bottle, especially if you plan to travel. If you are taking other medications for pre-existing conditions, you should discuss this with your doctor to avoid any interactions which pose a risk to your health. If you are taking any herbal supplements or vitamins you should tell your doctor.

If you develop any side effects as a result of taking this medication, you should alert your doctor. If it is a severe side effect or you believe you are having a life-threatening reaction to this drug, you should go to the nearest emergency room or call 911. There is normally an initial period of adjustment when taking this medication. There may be some mild side effects that usually go away over time as you adjust to taking the medication. If the side effects persist, tell your doctor because they may be able to adjust your dose to lessen their severity.

Depending on the reason for taking this medication, you may only need to take it for a short time. In some cases, you may even need to start a new schedule if your doctor sees a need for further treatment.

Conditions treated

Type of medicine

  • Anticholinergic

Side effects

This medication is known to have side effects which range from mild to severe. It is important to watch for the appearance of any side effects and report them to your doctor immediately. If the side effects are severe or life-threatening, you should go immediately to the emergency room.

Stomach and abdominal cramps

This side effect can create pain in the stomach or in the abdomen that can range from mild to severe. Report any of these occurrences to your doctor right away.

Violent behavior

This drug has been documented to increase the chance of aggressive or violent behavior in some individuals. If you feel that the medication has increased your level irritability or makes you feel out of control, you should tell your doctor immediately.

Forgetfulness

While forgetfulness is not a severe side effect, it should be monitored by you and your doctor. Changes in your dose or a change in therapy may prevent this from continuing.

Bloating

Bloating can be a mild, but common side effect with this medication. If it becomes a regular occurrence you should tell your doctor.

Painful or burning urination

This may be a mild side effect, but if it persists it may be a sign of a more serious condition. If you have painful urination or a burning sensation you should tell your doctor right away.

Confusion

This could signal a more serious condition or could be a serious side effect or adverse reaction to benztropine.

Constipation

If you experience constipation while taking this drug you may be able to get a prescription from your doctor to help with this minor side effect.

Urination frequency decrease

This side effect can be serious. If you have trouble urinating or have a serious decline in the amount of urine output you experience then you should tell your doctor right away.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is common when taking benztropine. You should ask your doctor what you can do to lessen this side effect especially if it lasts past the adjustment period during the first few weeks.

Trouble urinating

If you have trouble urinating or experience dribbling, you should alert your doctor or go to the emergency room for immediate treatment.

Trouble speaking

If you experience trouble speaking when taking this drug, you should tell your doctor and go to the emergency room because it could signal the occurrence of a life-threatening event that requires attention.

Trouble swallowing

If you have trouble swallowing you may be having an adverse or allergic reaction to this drug. Go to the emergency room and alert your doctor right away.

Discouragement

If you begin to feel discouraged regularly when taking this medication, you can get a referral to a mental health expert to help with this minor side effect.

Dizziness

Dizziness when taking this medication can also be a sign of an overdose. Make sure you go to your regularly scheduled appointment to help monitor your toxicity levels and never take two doses of this drug at once.

Dry mouth

If you experience dry mouth when taking this medication, you should ask your doctor what you can do to minimize this mild, but common side effect.

Minor side effects:

  • Enlarged pupils

This drug is known to cause enlarged pupils in some individuals during the initial adjustment phase. If this problem persists, you should tell your doctor so they can adjust your dose to help prevent this occurrence.

  • ¬†Appetite decrease

It is normal to experience mild appetite decrease when taking this medication. Your doctor may be able to help with this minor side effect.

  • Rash

A mild rash could occur when taking this medication. Monitor this side effect closely and if you notice the rash worsening or accompanying a fever or other side effects, you should tell your doctor and go to the emergency room because you could be having an adverse reaction that poses a risk to your health.

  • Weight loss

You may experience weight loss with this drug. It could be due to a reduction in appetite. If this persists you should tell your doctor so he can adjust your dose to lessen the impacts of this side effect.

Overdose symptoms:

If you experience any of these serious symptoms you should either go to the emergency room or call 911 to get immediate treatment. Alert your doctor to any changes to your condition when taking this drug. There is a higher risk of overdose with this drug due to the risk of toxicity because it is cumulative in the system.

  • Blindness
  • Blurry vision
  • Unconsciousness
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Vision impairment
  • Dizziness
  • Eye pain
  • Delusional
  • Lightheadedness

Dosage

The dose information for this drug varies depending on the use. If the drug is used for drug-induced extrapyramidal disorders, the patient should take 1 to 2 mg orally 3 times per day. If the dose should need adjusting, the adjustments should come in increments of 0.5 mg and change at 5 to 6-day intervals. The average dose is 1 to 4 mg per day, which can be divided up throughout the day. The maximum dose recommended for this use is 6 mg per day.

Normally this drug is only needed for 1 to 2 weeks after the onset of the drug-induced extrapyramidal disorder. If your doctor feels that they need to restart you on this schedule, they can do so safely. This drug should be administered in the smallest dose necessary because of its toxic nature. It is cumulative in the body and should be closely monitored by your doctor or healthcare professional.

If this medication is used to treat Parkinson's Disease, the dose is 0.5 to 2 mg orally once per day. The average dose range is 1 to 2 mg per day orally. The maximum dose recommended for Parkinson's patients is 6 mg orally once per day. If the patient is advanced in age, great caution should be taken when giving higher doses. Although it is recommended that patients take this medication once per day, your doctor may divide the dose if necessary.

Interactions

There are 781 drugs which are found to pose a risk of interaction with benztropine. Of the 781 drugs, 14 pose a major drug interaction risk, 692 pose a moderate risk of drug interaction, and 75 pose a minor risk. Some commonly known drugs that pose an interaction risk with benztropine include:

  • Abilify
  • Lyrica
  • Cymbalta
  • Depakote
  • Risperdal
  • Seroquel
  • Geodon
  • Seroquel XR
  • Haldol
  • Klonopin
  • Topamax
  • Lamictal
  • Latuda
  • Xanax
  • Lexapro

There are two lifestyle interactions associated with this drug:

  • Alcohol

Taking alcohol with this drug can create dizziness or drowsiness. Don't operate machinery or drive a car when taking benztropine and drinking alcohol. Your mental alertness will decline to leave you at risk of accident or injury. Talk to your doctor about drinking alcohol with this drug.

This drug may make pre-existing hypertension worse. Use great caution when taking this medication if you have high blood pressure because it could cause an increase in issues with hypertension. This could result in a serious medical condition if not addressed right away. Monitor your blood pressure regularly when taking this medication and alert your doctor of the results at your regularly scheduled appointments.

Warnings

Before you begin taking this medication, you should consult your doctor and address any concern you may have about your treatment. Discuss any pre-existing conditions as well as disclose any other medication you take. You should also inform your doctor about any herbal supplements and vitamins you are taking because they could pose an interaction risk or create a need for your dosage to be altered.

Do not give benztropine to children without the consent of your doctor. This medication carries a risk of overdose if you do not adhere to your prescribed schedule. This medication is cumulative in the system and poses a moderate risk of toxicity to people who are currently taking this medication. Always go to your scheduled doctor's appointments so they can monitor your blood levels as well as your toxicity levels.

Storage

Keep this medication in a locking container, preferably the one your prescription came in. Store this medication away from heat and excess moisture. Do not store this drug in the bathroom due to the excess moisture. Keep this drug out of the reach of children and pets. Always store medication where it isn't easily accessed by others.

If you need to discard this medication, you should take it to the community return program for proper disposal. If you do not have a community take-back program, you should follow the FDA guidelines found in their pamphlet regarding the safe disposal of prescription drugs. If you plan to travel, make sure you keep your medication in the prescription bottle it came in with your name on it. Do not store other medication in the same bottle with benztropine.

Summary

This medication is intended to help Parkinson's patients regain some mobility and reduce muscle stiffness. It works to relax the muscles and lessen the impacts of the symptoms. It is also used in some instances to counteract adverse side effects and reactions as a result of medications that stabilize mood and offer anxiety relief.

This medication is taken orally, usually once per day, by mouth. There are some risks associated with taking this medication. It is important that you consult your doctor before beginning treatment with benztropine. Always tell your doctor about any medication you may be taking, including vitamins and herbal supplements. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, you should discuss them with your healthcare provider because it may impact your course of treatment.

If you develop any side effects associated with this medication, you should alert your health care provider so adjustments can be made to your dosage, or a different course of treatment may be used. Don't stop taking this medication without the consent of your doctor because it could cause a severe adverse reaction. If you skip your medication take it as soon as you remember, or if you have remembered at your next scheduled dose, you should only take one dose of your medication. Do not take two doses at once because it could pose the risk of overdose.

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Last Reviewed:
December 25, 2017
Last Updated:
April 02, 2018