Oxybutynin should be used with caution in: women who are pregnant, the elderly (particularly if frail), children under 5 years of age, patients with liver or kidney problems, thyroid disorders, those with autonomic neuropathy (a disease of the non-voluntary [autonomic] nervous system, which can thus affect the bladder muscles), patients with heart conditions (including a fast or irregular heart beat, heart failure and coronary artery disease), high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate gland (prostatic hyperplasia), or hiatus hernia (stomach tissue bulging into the lower gullet) with reflux oesophagitis (regurgitation of stomach contents causing damage to the gullet).
It should not be used in: women who are breastfeeding, patients with myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disease), significant obstruction or retention of urine flow from the bladder, severe ulcerative colitis (a disease of the lower intestine [colon] characterised by open sores [ulcers] with symptoms such as frequent diarrhoea mixed with blood), toxic megacolon (a life-threatening complication of other intestinal conditions consisting of an abnormal enlargement of part of the gut called the colon, plus bloating, and sometimes fever, pain or shock), obstruction of the gut (intestine), intestinal atony (loss of intestinal muscle strength), or eye conditions such as narrow-angle glaucoma.
Also see list of precautions and interactions.
Store below 30°C.
What is it used for?
- Oxybutynin is used to treat a number of bladder problems.
- It is an antimuscarinic drug (it blocks certain types of nerve receptors called the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors), and is sometimes known as an anticholinergic drug.
- It is used to treat bladder problems involving muscle spasms of the urinary tract. By relaxing overactive bladder muscles it can prevent many bladder problems associated with excessive or involuntary urination.
- In general this drug is used to treat bladder problems. These can include problems such as urge incontinence (a strong, sudden desire to urinate, and sometimes followed by a bladder contraction before getting to the toilet, allowing urine to leak out), the involuntary passing of urine at night (nocturnal enuris or bedwetting), and excessive urination frequency.
- Benefits of being on this drug can include prevention of involuntary urination (urinary incontinence) or preventing excessive urination (which may be troublesome, particularly at night).
Listed below are the typical uses of oxybutynin.
- Relief from symptoms of urgency to urinate, excessive urination and/or urge incontinence, either because of unknown reasons for instability of the bladder muscle (idiopathic detrusor instability) or neurogenic bladder disorders (neurogenic bladder is a term applied to a malfunctioning bladder because of problem with the nervous system, such as in disorders such as spina bifida and multiple sclerosis, or because of an injury)
- Preventing nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) in children over 5 years of age, when used alongside non-drug therapy where the non-drug therapy has failed (whether used alone or alongside another drug treatment).
On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.
HOW TO USE/TAKE
How often do I take it?
- Take this medication by mouth, usually two- or three-times daily. It is also available as a self-adhesive patch which should be applied to the skin.
- Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
- Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
- It may take some time before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
- Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.
- Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.
Do I need to avoid anything?
- This medication may cause drowsiness or blurred vision, and if so you should consider avoiding driving or operating machinery. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
When can I stop?
- It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.
OXYBUTYNIN SIDE EFFECTS
- Blurred sight, increased pressure in the eye/eye pain, enlarged pupil or dry eyes
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Nausea (feeling sick)
- Stomach pain
- Dryness of the mouth
- Loss of appetite (anorexia)
- Seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations)
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Difficulties in passing water (urinating)
- Facial flushing (particularly in children)
- Dry skin, or skin that is very sensitive to the sun.
If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor.
Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), fast heartbeat (tachycardia), blurred sight increased pressure in the eye/eye pain.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.
Before taking oxybutynin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other antimuscarinic drugs; or if you have any other allergies.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disease), significant obstruction or retention of urine flow from the bladder, severe ulcerative colitis (a disease of the lower intestine [colon] characterised by open sores [ulcers] with symptoms such as frequent diarrhoea mixed with blood), toxic megacolon (a life-threatening complication of other intestinal conditions consisting of an abnormal enlargement of part of the gut called the colon, plus bloating, and sometimes fever, pain or shock), obstruction of the gut (intestine), intestinal atony (loss of intestinal muscle strength), or eye conditions such as narrow-angle glaucoma or shallow anterior chamber.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: history of difficulty urinating, long-term constipation, blood in stools, any liver or kidney problems, heart conditions, high blood pressure, or thyroid problems.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.
Does alcohol intake affect this drug?
- Alcohol intake should be moderated as it may intensify side-effects such as drowsiness brought about by oxybutynin.
The elderly: oxybutynin should be used with caution in the elderly as it may be more likely to cause some side-effects than in younger patients.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below
The safety of oxybutynin has not been established during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.
It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.
If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.
Oxybutynin is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding.
It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.
If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.
Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.
If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.
The following medicines may interact with oxybutynin:
- Other anticholinergic medicines, such as atropine for glaucoma or hyoscine for nausea)
- Medicines for depression, such as amitriptyline, imipramine or dosulepin
- Medicines to treat certain mental health conditions such as haloperidol, benperidol or chlorpromazine
- Digoxin, used to treat heart problems
- Amantadine or L-dopa, both used to treat Parkinson's disease
This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.
If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.
Symptoms of an overdose include: progression from restlessness and excitement to confused, agitated (psychotic) behaviour, circulatory changes (flushing, fall in blood pressure, or circulatory failure), stopping breathing, paralysis and coma (unable to wake).
If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of oxybutynin or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.