Nervous System Home > What Is Benztropine Used For?

Benztropine is used for relieving symptoms of Parkinson's disease and certain movement disorders (extrapyramidal disorders) that are caused by antipsychotic medications. As an anticholinergic medication, benztropine works by re-establishing the balance of certain chemicals in the nervous system. Occasionally, healthcare providers may also prescribe benztropine "off-label" to treat excess salivation ("drooling").

What Is Benztropine Used For? -- An Overview

Benztropine mesylate (Cogentin®) is a prescription medication. The drug belongs to a group of medicines known as anticholinergics and is approved to treat the following conditions:
 
  • Extrapyramidal disorders (movement or muscle tension disorders) caused by antipsychotic medications
  • Parkinson's disease and other similar conditions (when used in combination with other medications).
     

Benztropine for Extrapyramidal Symptoms

Extrapyramidal symptoms (also known as EPS) are a set of side effects that are common with antipsychotic medications, as well as a few other types of medications. Extrapyramidal symptoms are usually divided into different categories. Dyskinesias are movement disorders, while dystonias are muscle tension disorders. "Tardive" symptoms are those that appear during long-term treatment (often after several years of treatment). Unlike earlier symptoms, tardive symptoms are more likely to be permanent, even after the medication is stopped.
 
Benztropine can be very effective at controlling most EPS. However, benztropine should not be used to treat tardive dyskinesia, as it is not effective for this use and may even worsen the condition.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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