tolterodine, Detrol, Detrol LA

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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.




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