Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some questions about BENZTROP It does not contain all available information.
Please note that it does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
Every medicine has risks and benefits. Your doctor will have weighed the risks of you using BENZTROP against its benefits.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns about this medicine.
This leaflet should be kept with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
What BENZTROP is used for
BENZTROP is used to treat all forms of parkinsonism, the symptoms of parkinsonism and the side effects of some specific drugs.
These parkinsonism symptoms include slow and unsteady movement, muscle stiffness and shaking (tremors). Parkinsonism can cause difficulty in performing normal daily activities if not treated.
Symptoms of parkinsonism can be caused by certain diseases of the brain affecting movement. They can also be caused by some medicines that are used to treat some mental conditions.
BENZTROP is most helpful in improving shaking and muscle stiffness.
How does BENZTROP work?
The symptoms of parkinsonism are caused by a lack of dopamine, a naturally occurring chemical produced by certain brain cells. If not enough dopamine is present, acetylcholine which is another natural chemical produced by brain cells, can interfere with the parts of the brain that help control muscle movement.
BENZTROP blocks the effects of the acetylcholine chemical. In many patients, this reduces the symptoms of shaking and muscle stiffness.
BENZTROP belongs to a group of medicines called anticholinergics. It is available in tablet form.
If you have any questions about why BENZTROP has been prescribed for you please ask your doctor.
BENZTROP is not addictive.
Before you use BENZTROP
When not to use it
Do not use BENZTROP if:
you have an allergy to BENZTROP or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing, or skin rashes.
You have narrow angled glaucoma.
You have a very rare condition called tardive dyskinesia. In this condition, there is uncontrolled movements of the tongue, jaw (such as puffing of the cheeks, chewing movements, puckering of the mouth), face and mouth which may progress to the arms and legs.
the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering or the tablets do not look quite right.
the expiry date on the pack has passed.
This medicine may not work if you take it after the expiry date has passed..
If you are not sure whether you should start using BENZTROP ask your doctor.
Do not give BENZTROP to a child under three years old. Also, it should be used with caution in older children.
Before you start to use it
Your doctor must know about all the following before you start to use BENZTROP
1. If you intend to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed
Your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of using BENZTROP during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.
2. If you have any medical conditions, especially the following:
heart problems, such as fast heart beat
uncontrolled movements of hands, mouth or tongue.
difficulty in bowel movements.
3. If you consume large quantities of alcohol
4. If you have any allergies to any other medicines or any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you use any BENZTROP.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines and BENZTROP may interfere with each other. These include:-
some medicines used to treat mental illness or psychotic disorders
a group of medicines called tricyclic antidepressants which are used to treat depression
other anticholinergic medicines, such as benzhexol, biperiden, procyclidine, orphenadrine
medicines to calm you and help you sleep.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure whether you are taking any of these medicines. Taking BENZTROP with these medicines may cause fever, heat intolerance, and stomach or bowel problems. Therefore, you may need different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor will advise you.
BENZTROP may be taken together with certain other medicines, such as levodopa and carbidopa, for the treatment of the symptoms of parkinsonism.
Some medicines and Benztrop may interfere with each other. These include:
Ketoconazole, a medicine used to treat fungal infections
Metoclopramide, a medicine used to control nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting
Cisapride, a medicine to treat reflux
Medicines to calm you down and help you sleep, eg. Sedatives, tranquilisers, some pain killers
Alcohol may make you more sleepy if taken together with BENZTROP
Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as acetazolamide which are used in glaucoma or oedema (build up of fluid in the body)
Some medicines used in Altzheimer's disease and myasthenia gravis
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or to avoid while using BENZTROP.
How to use BENZTROP
How much to use
Use BENZTROP only when prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will tell you the dose of tablets you need to take each day or will decide how much injection to give you. This depends on your symptoms, age, weight and whether you are taking other medicines. The dose can vary from patient to patient.
The usual dose of BENZTROP is 1 to 2 mg per day, with a range of 0.5 to 6 mg per day.
Older people are usually more sensitive to medicines like BENZROPE. As a result they cannot tolerate large doses. Your doctor will take this into consideration when prescribing the tablets.
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully. They may not be the same as on this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the label, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
Swallow the tablets with a glass of water.
How long to use it
Whilst BENZTROP helps to control some of your symptoms of parkinsonism, it does not cure them. Therefore BENZTROP must be used for as long as your doctor prescribes.
Should you forget to take the tablets
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your tablet(s) as you would normally.
If you are not sure about skipping a dose, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.
If you have trouble remembering to take your tablets, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too many tablets (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to casualty at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much BENZTROP. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. Keep the telephone numbers of these places handy. If you take too many tablets, you may experience the effects listed under side effects. You may also have others such as decreased or increased reaction time, dizziness, poor coordination, muscle weakness, inability to perspire, hot and dry flushed skin, fever, headache, breathing difficulties, fits and unconsciousness.
Symptoms of existing mental illness may worsen after taking an overdose.
While you are using BENZTROP
Things to do
If you have problems with sweating while using BENZTROP tell your doctor AT ONCE. Under certain conditions BENZTROP may make you perspire or sweat less, which may cause heat stroke. This may happen during hot weather, especially if you:
drink large quantities of alcohol
are being treated with other anticholinergic medicines for a chronic illness
have a nervous disorder
are working in a hot environment
have any existing problem with sweating
Your doctor may need to reduce your dose of BENZTROP
Try to avoid becoming overheated during exercise or hot weather while you are using this medicine. BENZTROP may make you sweat less, causing your body temperature to increase. You may get heat stroke if you overheat during exercise or hot weather
Tell you doctor If you become pregnant while using BENZTROP
Tell your doctor and pharmacist that you are using BENZTROP if you are about to start on any new medicine
Things you must not do
Do not give BENZTROP to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you.
Things to be careful of
Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how BENZTROP affects you. BENZTROP may cause some to have blurred vision or be less alert than normal. Make sure you know how you react to BENZTROP before you drive a car, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous should you not be alert or able to see well.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking BENZTROP BENZTROP helps most people with some symptoms of parkinsonism, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they could be serious, most of the time they are not. If you get some of the side effects you may need medical treatment
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
dry mouth, or difficulty swallowing or speaking due to dry mouth
feeling sick, nauseas, or vomiting
loss of appetite, weight loss
blurred vision, dilated pupils
increased heart rate
These are some possible side effects of BENZTROP that are mild.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
difficult or painful passing water.
an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing, or skin rashes
mood or mental changes such as depression, nervousness, unusual laziness or sleepiness, confusion, disorientation, memory loss
seeing things that are not there, also called visual hallucinations
worsening symptoms of existing mental illness
These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side effects are generally rare.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to casualty at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
heat stroke, fever, raised body temperature
it becomes impossible to empty your bladder (urinary retention)
These are serious side effects that need urgent medical attention. These side effects are generally rare.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. Tell your doctor if you notice any other effects.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
After using BENZTROP
Keep your tablets in the bottle at all times until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the bottle they may not keep well.
Keep it in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C. Do not store it or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.
Do not leave it in the car or on window sills.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking the tablets, or the tablets have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that are left over.
What it looks like
BENZTROP comes in a 2 mg - white, round tablet.
A bottle of BENZTROP 2 mg contains 60 tablets.
BENZTROPINE MESYLATE 2 mg per tablet
pregelatinised maize starch and lactose
BENZTROP contain no sucrose, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.
BENZTROP is supplied in Australia by:
332 Burns Bay Road,
Lane Cove, NSW 2066
Australian Registration Number:
BENZTROP 2mg tablets
AUST R 83130.
This leaflet was prepared in June 2002