Does Benzonatate show up on a drug test? 

Does Benzonatate show up on a drug test? 

No, Benzonatate does not show up on a drug test. Benzonatate is a commonly used antitussive agent and it is non-narcotic in nature. It is neither structurally similar to narcotics nor produces similar effects, which is why it does not cause euphoria or addiction. 

This is why standard drug tests don’t really focus on this medication and it is not included in the usual panel of drugs to be tested. So, it is highly unlikely for Benzonatate to show up on a drug test and the medication is not known to cause a false positive. 

However, if you’re pairing it with other medications, you need to evaluate those medications and check if they are known for causing a false positive. 

If Benzonatate is the only medication you’re taking and you have a drug test coming up, don’t worry! This cough medication won’t be a problem.

How is Benzonatate different from drugs that show up on a drug test?

Benzonatate is different from drugs that show up on a standard drug test because it is not an illegal or commonly abused substance. Benzonatate is a prescription medication used to relieve coughing, and it works by numbing the respiratory tract to reduce the cough reflex. (1)

It is not a narcotic or a controlled substance, so it typically does not appear on standard drug tests that are designed to detect illicit drugs or certain prescription medications with abuse potential. (2,3)

Common drugs that can show up on a drug test include:

  • Marijuana (THC)
  • Cocaine
  • Opioids (such as Heroin, Morphine, Oxycodone, and Hydrocodone)
  • Benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Valium)
  • Amphetamines (such as Adderall, Methamphetamine)
  • Methadone
  • Barbiturates
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly)
  • Synthetic cannabinoids (such as K2, Spice)

Final words

To sum up, Benzonatate does not show up on a drug test and is not considered a drug of abuse. However, it’s essential to inform the testing facility or medical professionals about any medications you are taking to ensure accurate and appropriate testing and interpretation of the results.

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Costantino RC, Leonard J, Gorman EF, Ventura D, Baltz A, Gressler LE. Benzonatate Safety and Effectiveness: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Ann Pharmacother. 2023 Jan 23:10600280221135750. doi: 10.1177/10600280221135750. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36688284.


McNeil SE, Chen RJ, Cogburn M. Drug Testing. 2023 Jan 16. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 29083751.


Moeller KE, Lee KC, Kissack JC. Urine drug screening: practical guide for clinicians. Mayo Clin Proc. 2008 Jan;83(1):66-76. doi: 10.4065/83.1.66. Erratum in: Mayo Clin Proc. 2008 Jul;83(7):851. PMID: 18174009.