tolterodine, Detrol, Detrol LA
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
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:
GENERIC NAME: tolterodine
BRAND NAME: Detrol, Detrol LA
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Tolterodine belongs to a class of drugs called cholinergic (acetylcholine) receptor blockers. It is used to treat disorders of the urinary bladder that affect urination. The urinary bladder is a muscular "bag." Urine coming from the kidneys fills the bladder and causes it to stretch like a balloon. As it stretches, pressure in the bladder increases and, when the bladder reaches a certain level of stretch, a desire to urinate is felt. Nerves in the muscular wall of the bladder release acetylcholine, a chemical that attaches to receptors on the muscle cells and causes the cells to contract (tighten). This contributes further to the increase in pressure within the bladder and the desire to urinate. At the appropriate time (for example, when a toilet is available), there is conscious relaxation of the muscle at the outlet of the bladder, and the high bladder pressure forces urine out of the bladder. Normally, urination is under conscious control; however, in some individuals normal control as well as normal sensation are lost. The desire to urinate may be felt when there is little urine in the bladder, and urination may occur without warning or control. By blocking the effect of acetylcholine on the muscle cells, tolterodine slows the build-up of pressure in the bladder, reduces the sensation to urinate, and prevents uncontrolled urination. The FDA approved tolterodine in 1998. An extended release form of tolterodine, (Detrol LA) was approved by the FDA in 2001.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: No
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 1 and 2mg. Long acting capsules: 2 and 4 mg.
STORAGE: Tablets and capsules should be stored at room temperature, 15- 30 C (59-86 F).
PRESCRIBED FOR: Tolterodine is used to treat uncontrollable urination due to what is often referred to as an overactive bladder or urge incontinence. Symptoms include the need to urinate frequently, an urge to urinate immediately, and an inability to control the release of (urinary incontinence).
DOSING: Tolterodine usually is taken twice daily. The starting dose is 1 or 2 mg twice daily. The starting dose when using long-acting tolterodine is 2 or 4 mg daily. The dose may need to be reduced for patients who have impaired liver or kidney function.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Tolterodine is broken down by liver enzymes before elimination from the body. Drugs that block these liver enzymes may slow the elimination of tolterodine, raise tolterodine blood levels, and lead to side effects. The list of drugs that may interfere with the elimination of tolterodine includes erythromycin, clarithromycin (Biaxin), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), cyclosporine, vinblastine, and miconazole (Monistat, Micatin). The dose of tolterodine should be reduced to 1 mg twice daily if taken with any of these drugs.
PREGNANCY: At doses much greater than those used in humans, tolterodine causes fetal abnormalities in animals, but there are no studies with tolterodine in pregnant women. Therefore, tolterodine should only be given to pregnant women if the benefits are felt to outweigh the potential risks.
NURSING MOTHERS: Tolterodine is secreted into breast milk in animals; however, it is not known if tolterodine is secreted into the breast milk of women. Therefore, nursing mothers should either not breast feed or discontinue tolterodine.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of tolterodine are dry mouth, dry eyes, headache, upset stomach, dizziness, drowziness, and constipation. Tolterodine also may cause blurred vision. Caution is recommended for patients with narrow-angle glaucoma, obstruction to the flow of urine, or poor emptying of the stomach since tolterodine may worsen these medical conditions.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Last Editorial Review: 3/23/2012
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Back to Medications Index