Oxybutynin | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

oxybutynin, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Ditropan (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
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Highlights for oxybutynin

Oral tablet
1

Oxybutynin is used to treat overactive bladder.

2

This drug comes as an immediate-release tablet, extended-release tablet, and syrup you take my mouth. It also comes as a gel and patch you apply to your skin.

3

The oral tablet is available as the brand-name drug Ditropan. It’s also available as a generic drug.

4

This drug may cause you to be unable to empty your bladder if you have bladder outlet obstruction. Tell your doctor right away if you’re unable to empty your bladder.

5

Common side effects include blurry vision, urination problems, dry mouth, and constipation.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Angioedema (allergic reaction)

Oxybutynin can cause swelling around your eyes, lips, genitals, hands, or feet. Stop taking this drug and seek emergency help right away if you have any of these symptoms.

Central nervous system side effects

This drug may cause confusion, agitation, hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real), and drowsiness. This is most likely to happen during the first few months of taking this medication or after your dose is increased. If you have these side effects, your doctor may decrease your dose or have you stop taking this drug.

What is oxybutynin?

Oxybutynin is a prescription drug. It is available in these forms: immediate-release tablet, extended-release tablet, oral syrup, topical gel, and topical patch.

The oral tablet and extended-release tablet are available as generic drugs. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Oxybutynin may be used as part of a combination therapy.  That means you need to take it with other drugs.

Why it's used

Oxybutynin is used to treat overactive bladder with the following symptoms:

  • urinating more often than usual
  • feeling like you need to urinate more often
  • urinary leakage
  • painful urination
  • being unable to hold your urine
  • The extended-release form of this drug is also used to treat children (ages 6 years and older) with overactive bladder caused by a neurological condition. These include spina bifida.

How it works

Oxybutynin belongs to a class of drugs called anticholinergics/antimuscarinics. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

Oxybutynin works by relaxing the muscles of your bladder. This decreases your sudden need to urinate, having to urinate often, and leaking in between bathroom visits.

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oxybutynin Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects that occur with oxybutynin include:

  • being unable to urinate

  • constipation

  • dry mouth

  • blurry vision

  • dizziness

  • drowsiness

  • sweating less than usual. This may increase your risk of overheating, having a fever, or getting heat stroke if you’re in warm or hot temperatures.

  • insomnia

  • headache

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life-threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • not being able to empty your bladder

  • swelling around your eyes, lips, genitals, hands, or feet

Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Oxybutynin may cause drowsiness. You shouldn’t drive, use machinery, or do other activities that require alertness until you know how this drug affects you.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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oxybutynin May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

This drug can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Alcohol interaction

You shouldn’t drink alcohol while taking oxybutynin. Alcohol can increase your chance of serious side effects, such as drowsiness and dizziness. Alcohol can also aggravate your overactive bladder symptoms.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Depression drugs

Oxybutynin may affect how these drugs are absorbed by your body. Taking these drugs with oxybutynin may also increase your risk of side effects.

These drugs include:

  • amitriptyline
  • nortriptyline

Allergy drugs

Oxybutynin may affect how these drugs are absorbed by your body. Taking these drugs with oxybutynin may also increase your risk of side effects.

These drugs include:

  • chlorpheniramine
  • diphenhydramine

Psychosis and schizophrenia drugs

Oxybutynin may affect how these drugs are absorbed by your body. Taking these drugs with oxybutynin may also increase your risk of side effects.

These drugs include:

  • chlorpromazine
  • thioridazine

Antifungal drugs

Certain antifungal drugs will increase the level of oxybutynin in your body. This will raise your risk of side effects.

These drugs include:

  • ketoconazole
  • itraconazole

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Oxybutynin warnings
automatic neuropathy
People with autonomic neuropathy

Oxybutynin can make your stomach problems worse if you have autonomic neuropathy. Use this drug with caution if you have this condition.

bladder outlet obstruction
People with bladder outlet obstruction

Oxybutynin may increase your chances of not being able to empty your bladder if you have bladder outlet obstruction.

stomach problems
People with stomach problems

Oxybutynin may cause more stomach problems if you have a history of ulcerative colitis, stomach pain, or reflux. 

myasthenia gravis
People with myasthenia gravis

Oxybutynin may make symptoms worse if you have myasthenia gravis.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

Oxybutynin is a pregnancy category B drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has not shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Animal studies do not always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if oxybutynin passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

for children
For children

The safety and effectiveness of oxybutynin in children younger than 6 years haven’t been established.

allergies
Allergies

Oxybutynin may cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives
  • severe skin reactions

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it a second time after an allergic reaction could be fatal.

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How to Take oxybutynin (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Overactive bladder

Brand: Ditropan

Form: Immediate-release oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg

Brand: Ditropan XL

Form: Extended-release oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg

Immediate-release oral tablet

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth 2–3 times per day
  • maximum dose: 5 mg taken by mouth 4–5 times per day
Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)
  • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth 2 times per day
  • maximum dose: 15 mg per day
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your doctor may start your dose at 2.5 mg taken 2–3 times per day.

Extended-release oral tablet

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • starting dose: 5–10 mg taken by mouth one time per day at the same time each day 
  • dose increases: Your doctor may increase your dose by 5 mg at a time, up to a maximum of 30 mg per day.
Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)
  • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth one time per day at the same time each day
  • dose increases: Your doctor may increase your dose by 5 mg at a time, up to a maximum of 20 mg per day.

Overactive bladder associated with a neurological condition

Brand: Ditropan

Form: Immediate-release oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg

Brand: Ditropan XL

Form: Extended-release oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg

Immediate-release oral tablet

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth 2–3 times per day
  • maximum dose: 5 mg taken by mouth 4–5 times per day
Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)
  • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth 2 times per day
  • maximum dose: 15 mg per day
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your doctor may start your dose at 2.5 mg taken 2–3 times per day.

Extended-release oral tablet

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • starting dose: 5–10 mg taken by mouth one time per day at the same time each day 
  • dose increases: Your doctor may increase your dose by 5 mg at a time, up to a maximum of 30 mg per day.
Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)
  • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth one time per day at the same time each day
  • dose increases: Your doctor may increase your dose by 5 mg at a time, up to a maximum of 20 mg per day.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Oxybutynin comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s just a few hours before the time of your next dose, then wait and only take one dose at that time. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your symptoms of overactive bladder or bladder instability may get better.

If you don’t take it at all

Your symptoms of overactive bladder or bladder instability won’t improve.

If you skip or miss doses

You may not see the full benefit of this medication. If you double up your dose or take it too close to your next scheduled time, you may be at higher risk of serious side effects.

If you take too much

If you take too much, you may experience more side effects of taking this drug. These include:

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • not being able to urinate
  • constipation
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real)
  • confusion
  • drowsiness

If you think you’ve taken too much of the drug, act right away. Call your doctor or local poison control center, or go to the nearest emergency room.

Oxybutynin is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking oxybutynin

You can cut or crush the immediate-release tablet

However, you must swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Don’t chew, divide, or crush it.

Store this drug carefully

  • Store oxybutynin as close to 77°F (25°C) as possible. You can store it briefly between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Keep it away from high temperature.
  • Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Your diet

Caffeine may aggravate your symptoms of overactive bladder. This may decrease the effectiveness of this drug to treat your condition. You should limit your caffeine intake.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for oxybutynin.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

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How Much Does oxybutynin Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for oxybutynin

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for oxybutynin on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on November 2, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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