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What Is Tessalon?

If your healthcare provider has prescribed Tessalon® (benzonatate) for your cough, you may have questions about what it is and how it is taken. Tessalon is a prescription cough medication that is approved for use in both adults and children (10 years and older). Unlike many other cough medications, it is not a cough syrup. Instead, it comes in liquid-filled gel capsules.
The drug works directly at the lungs and respiratory passages. It is thought to work as an anesthetic, essentially numbing certain receptors (known as "stretch" receptors) in the lungs and respiratory passages.
The standard dosage of Tessalon for suppressing a cough is 100 or 200 mg, up to three times daily, as necessary. Most people tolerate it well, but side effects are possible. In clinical studies, common side effects included nausea, constipation, and numbness in the chest, among others.
(To learn more about what this drug is used for, click Tessalon. Other topics discussed in this article include how it performed in clinical trials, why it may be unsuitable for certain people, and whether you can buy it as a generic.)
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