Tessalon

If you have a bothersome cough, your healthcare provider may prescribe Tessalon, a drug that works directly in the lungs and respiratory passages. This medicine comes in the form of liquid-filled gel capsules and is taken up to three times a day. Some of the possible side effects include nausea, constipation, and numbness of the chest. However, most people tolerate it well.

What Is Tessalon?

Tessalon® (benzonatate) is a prescription cough medication. It is used to suppress coughing.
 
(Click Tessalon Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes It?

Brand-name Tessalon is made by Catalent Pharma Solutions for Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
 

What Are Tessalon Perles?

Tessalon Perles is the name given to the 100-mg strength of Tessalon liquid-filled gel capsules. They are distinctive for their spherical shape, which makes them easy to lose, since they roll off countertops easily. The 200-mg strength is not spherical. Generic versions of either strength may or may not be spherical, depending on the particular manufacturer.
 

How Does Tessalon Work?

Tessalon works directly at the lungs and respiratory passages. It probably works as an anesthetic, essentially numbing certain receptors (known as "stretch" receptors) in the lungs and respiratory passages.
 

When and How Do I Take It?

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Tessalon include the following:
 
  • Tessalon comes in liquid-filled gel capsules. It is usually taken by mouth three times daily.
     
  • You can take this medicine with or without food.
     
  • Make sure to swallow this medication whole; never chew or suck the capsules. Doing so could cause serious reactions.
     
  • For Tessalon to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
     
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD; Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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