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Benzatropine (previously known as benztropine) is an unlicensed medicine indicated for use as an alternative treatment of hypersalivation secondary to clozapine treatment in patients for whom adequate trials of hyoscine hydrobromide (both tablets and transdermal patches), trihexiphenidyl and pirenzepine have been ineffective either due to lack of efficacy or side effects.
It must not be used first line due to the unlicensed status.
Benzatropine was previously licensed for the management of extrapyramidal side effects (EPSE) secondary to antipsychotic treatment. This protocol does not cover the use of benzatropine for this indication due to other licensed preparations being available.
Due to its unlicensed status, informed consent and explanation for the rationale of treatment choice must be obtained prior to treatment initiation.1 Patient information explaining unlicensed medication in general terms is available via Choice and Medication, as is a specific benzatropine leaflet. Where there is a lack of capacity, adherence to the principles contained in the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act, 2000 is mandatory.
The consultant psychiatrist must make a clear record of the rationale for prescribing an unlicensed medication within the patient’s case notes and document the discussion regarding consent.1
The clozapine dispensary at Leverndale will supply benzatropine prescriptions after discharge to outpatients.
The standard clozapine out-patient prescription form will be used to prescribe benzatropine in addition to the patient’s regular clozapine dose.
Need for ongoing prescription of an unlicensed medicine should be assessed on a 6 monthly basis
There is no requirement for any specific monitoring.
Close monitoring of bowel function is mandatory with the combination of clozapine and benzatropine and should be reflected within the clozapine side effect monitoring care plan
Refer to the Guidelines for assessment and management of clozapine induced constipation for further information.
Up to 2mg daily for hypersalivation.3,4
Benzatropine was licensed up to 6mg in divided doses for the management of EPSE.
Adverse effects (frequency unknown):5,6
Vomiting and nausea
Confusion and memory impairment
Numbness of fingers
Urinary retention and dysuria
Heat stroke, hyperthermia and fever
• Hypersensitivity to benzatropine or any excipients
• Narrow angle glaucoma
• Tardive dyskinesia
• Renal impairment
• Prostatic hypertrophy
May exacerbate the anticholinergic effects of other drugs including clozapine, especially constipation.
Alcohol can increase the sedative effects of benzatropine.
1. GMC Good practice in prescribing and managing medicines and devices. Updated Dec14
2. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee Policies Relating to the Management of Medicines Section 9.1 Acute Unlicensed Medicines Policy (ULM Policy)
3. Taylor D, Paton C, Kapur S. The Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines in Psychiatry; 13th edition: Wiley Blackwell
4. UKMi Medicines Q&A. Drug-induced hypersalivation- what treatment options are available? May17
5. Martindale. The Complete Drug Reference. Accessed 7/8/17
6. Prescribing Information. Benztropine 2mg. Pendopharm. Nov 2014 (obtained from Mawdsleys Brooks & Co)
Last reviewed: 08 October 2020
Next review: 01 October 2023
Approved By: PMG-MH
Reviewer Name(s): Andrew Walker, Suzanne Burke