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.
Side Effects Of Benztropine
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.
Warnings & Precautions
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.
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.
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.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.