How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Benzydamine liquid is used to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with a sore throat or with mouth sores caused by radiation therapy. The effects of this medication are felt almost immediately but are temporary.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each mL of clear yellow-green liquid contains benzydamine 0.15%. Nonmedicinal ingredients: ethanol, glycerin, methyl- and propylparabens (as preservatives), and purified water.

How should I use this medication?

Benzydamine liquid is used as a mouth rinse or gargle to soothe sore areas in the mouth or throat. It should not be swallowed.

For treatment associated with radiation therapy, benzydamine should be started the day before the start of radiation therapy and continued daily during the treatment period, as well as after the treatments have stopped, until there is improvement in the discomfort. When used as a mouth rinse, the usual adult dose is not less than 15 mL (1 tablespoonful) used to rinse the mouth, 3 or 4 times a day, depending on the severity of the condition being treated. Keep the liquid in contact with the affected area for at least 30 seconds and then spit it out of the mouth.

For sore throats, benzydamine should be gargled, 15 mL (1 tablespoonful) every 1½ to 3 hours.

If the solution causes a burning sensation or irritation it may be diluted 1:1 with lukewarm water.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to benzydamine or any ingredients of the medication.

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • cough
  • drowsiness
  • dryness of the mouth with thirst
  • headache
  • local burning or stinging sensation
  • local numbness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • throat irritation

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Kidney function: A small amount of this medication is taken into the body when used as a gargle or a mouth rinse.

If you have decreased kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if benzydamine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children less than 5 years of age. As small children cannot reliably spit out the full amount of benzydamine needed for a dose, it is not recommended for children less than 5 years old.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.