oxybutynin, Ditropan (discontinued brand in the US); Ditropan XL; Oxytrol; Anturol; Gelnique

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is oxybutynin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Oxybutynin is an oral drug that is used for treating urinary bladder spasm. Oxybutynin has a dual mechanism of action. Contraction of the smooth muscle of the bladder is stimulated by the release of acetylcholine by the nerves within the bladder and the attachment of the acetylcholine to receptors on the surface of the bladder's muscle cells. Oxybutynin suppresses involuntary contractions of the bladder's smooth muscle (spasms) by blocking the release of acetylcholine. This is referred to as an "anticholinergic effect." Oxybutynin also directly relaxes the bladder's outer layer of muscle (the detrusor muscle). The FDA approved oxybutynin in July 1975.

What brand names are available for oxybutynin?

Ditropan (discontinued brand in the US); Ditropan XL; Oxytrol; Anturol; Gelnique

Do I need a prescription for oxybutynin?

Yes

What are the side effects of oxybutynin?

The most common side effects of oxybutynin are dry mouth, constipation, tiredness, and headache. About 1 in every 14 patients taking oxybutynin tablets cannot tolerate it because of side effects. Diarrhea, urinary tract infections, blurred vision, and difficulty urinating also may occur. The transdermal patch or gel may also cause local reactions at the application sites such as itching and rash. Transdermal patches or gel cause fewer side effects than the tablets. Serious hypersensitivity reactions involving swelling of the throat, lips, and tongue also may occur.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/11/2017

Quick GuideUrinary Incontinence in Women: Bladder Control and More With Pictures

Urinary Incontinence in Women: Bladder Control and More With Pictures
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