Cogentin is a prescription drug licensed for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and extrapyramidal symptoms caused by antipsychotic medications. This medication is available in the tablet or injectable form, and is generally taken one to four times a day. Potential side effects of Cogentin include constipation, nausea, and blurred vision.
What Is Cogentin?Cogentin® (benztropine mesylate) is a prescription medication approved for treating the following conditions:
- Parkinson's disease and other similar conditions (when used in combination with other medications)
- Extrapyramidal symptoms (movement or muscle tension disorders) caused by antipsychotic medications.
Who Makes It?Brand-name Cogentin tablets were made by Merck & Co., Inc., but are no longer available. Generic Cogentin is made by various manufacturers (see Generic Cogentin for more information). An injectable form is still available and is made by Ovation Pharmaceuticals.
How Does Cogentin Work?Cogentin is an anticholinergic medication. It works by blocking the effects of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter (a chemical in the nervous system). Normal muscle movement control requires a careful balance of acetylcholine and dopamine (another neurotransmitter). In Parkinson's disease (and with extrapyramidal disorders caused by antipsychotic medications), dopamine levels are decreased, creating an imbalance between dopamine and acetylcholine. By blocking the effects of acetylcholine, Cogentin helps to re-establish a normal balance between dopamine and acetylcholine.
This medication also has antihistamine effects, but these effects are not considered important for treating Parkinson's disease or extrapyramidal symptoms.