What Meds

Psychiatric Medications


Benztropine
Brand Name: Cogentin

Overview
Cogentin is the brand name for benztropine. It is an anticholinergic and antihistimanergic drug.

Why is this drug prescribed?
Cogentin is FDA-approved for:

Cogentin is used to treat Parkinson’s disease, also called shaking palsy. It may sometimes be used to treat tremors when it appears as a side effect of another medication. For example, it is often used with typical (older) antipsychotics to prevent "extrapyramidal symptoms" – those of tremor, muscle rigidity, and motoric restlessness.

Parkinson's disease is very rare in children. When a child has Parkinson’s disease it is usually caused when the nerves become less sensitive to dopamine. In adults, Parkinson’s disease tends to be caused by deterioration of the part of the brain that makes dopamine.

How much of this drug is typically used?
Tablets: 0.5, 1, 2mg
IM/IV injection solution: 1mg/ml

Warnings and Precautions
Patients taking Cogentin should avoid strenuous physical work, especially in heat. Patients taking Cogentin should avoid heat such as saunas, very hot baths, and excessive exercise.

Children require a lower dose and very careful monitoring when on this medication.

Cogentin may affect a patient’s ability to drive or operate machinery.

Discontinuing Cogentin may cause severe withdrawal symptoms, especially if it is withdrawn abruptly. Doses should be reduced gradually unless continued use may cause serious problems for the patient, as is the case with allergic reactions or symptoms of Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) including uncontrolled movements of the tongue, mouth, arms, and legs.

For Pregnant or Nursing Mothers: This medication should not be taken during pregnancy unless the mother’s life is endangered. This drug should not be used while breastfeeding.

Contraindications
Cogentin should Not be used for people with the following medical conditions:

Precautions
Cogentin may be used with caution in people with the following conditions:

Adverse Reactions
Cogentin may cause the following reactions:

Rarely:

Interactions with Drugs and Other Substances
In general, Cogentin can increase the effects of many drugs, especially alcohol.
Drugs or substances that may interact with Cogentin include:

Use in Child Psychiatry
Commonly used to treat extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) from antipsychotic medications.  Examples of EPS include rigidity, akathisia (restlessness), and acute dystonic reactions such as tightening of muscles in neck or throat. However, benztropine may also have its own side effects, as detailed above.

Sources

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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