Cogentin Warnings and Precautions
Before starting treatment with Cogentin, warnings and precautions for the medication should be discussed with your healthcare provider. For example, make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have certain health conditions, such as glaucoma, difficulty passing urine, or a rapid heart rate (Cogentin can make these conditions worse). Cogentin warnings and precautions also apply to people who have certain allergies and to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Cogentin® (benztropine mesylate) if you have:
- Difficulty passing urine
- An enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH)
- Tardive dyskinesia (a specific type of extrapyramidal symptoms due to antipsychotic medications)
- An alcohol problem
- A rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
- A job that requires you to do manual labor in the heat
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Cogentin include the following:
- Cogentin can cause drowsiness, confusion, or other mental problems that may interfere with your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery.
- Cogentin can inhibit the body's ability to cool itself by sweating. This can lead to heat stroke, especially in hot weather. People with alcohol problems and people who work in the heat may be especially prone to heat stroke. Let your healthcare provider know if you think this may be a problem for you (as it can be quite dangerous).
- Cogentin can worsen (or even cause) glaucoma, bladder or prostate problems, or a rapid heart rate. If you have such problems, Cogentin may not be right for you.
- Cogentin should never be used to treat tardive dyskinesia. Not only is Cogentin ineffective for this use, it can actually make tardive dyskinesia worse.
- Cogentin can cause hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not really there) or other psychological problems. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop hallucinations while taking Cogentin.
- Cogentin can cause confusion, memory loss, or other Alzheimer's-like symptoms.
- Cogentin can potentially interact with several medications (see Cogentin Drug Interactions).
- Cogentin is usually considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Cogentin and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if Cogentin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Cogentin and Breastfeeding).