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Oxybutynin, Oral Tablet

Highlights for oxybutynin

  1. Oxybutynin oral tablet is available as both a generic and brand-name drug. Brand name(s): Ditropan and Ditropan XL.
  2. Oxybutynin is used to treat overactive bladder.
  3. 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.
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Important warnings

Important warnings

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

About

What is oxybutynin?

Oxybutynin is a prescription drug. It comes as an immediate-release tablet, extended-release tablet, oral syrup, topical gel, and topical patch.

The oxybutynin tablet is available as the brand-name drugs Ditropan (immediate-release) and Ditropan XL (extended-release). Both forms of the 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-name version.

Why it's used

Oxybutynin is used to treat overactive bladder. Symptoms of this condition can include:

  • 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 such as spina bifida.

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

How it works

Oxybutynin belongs to a class of drugs called anticholinergics/antimuscarinics. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Oxybutynin works by relaxing the muscles of your bladder. This helps to decrease:

  • sudden urges to urinate
  • how often you need to urinate
  • leaking in between bathroom visits
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Side effects

Oxybutynin side effects

Oxybutynin oral tablet may cause drowsiness as well as other side effects.

More common side effects

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

The more common side effects that can occur with oxybutynin include:

  • being unable to urinate
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • blurry vision
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • sweating less than usual. This raises your risk of overheating, having a fever, or getting heat stroke if you’re in warm or hot temperatures.
  • trouble sleeping
  • 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

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • not being able to empty your bladder
  • swelling around your eyes, lips, genitals, hands, or feet

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.

Interactions

Oxybutynin may interact with other medications

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.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with oxybutynin are listed below.

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. Examples of 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. Examples of 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. Examples of 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. Examples of 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.

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Other warnings

Oxybutynin warnings

This drug comes with several warnings.

Allergy warning

Oxybutynin may cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can 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.

Alcohol warning

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

Warnings for certain groups

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

For people with bladder outlet obstruction: Oxybutynin may increase your risk of not being able to empty your bladder.

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

For people with myasthenia gravis: Oxybutynin may make your symptoms worse.

For 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 during pregnancy if clearly needed.

For women who are breastfeeding: It isn’t known if oxybutynin passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

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

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Dosage

How to take oxybutynin

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

Forms and strengths

Generic: oxybutynin

  • Form: immediate-release oral tablet
  • Strength: 5 mg
  • Form: extended-release oral tablet
  • Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg

Brand: Ditropan

  • Form: immediate-release oral tablet
  • Strength: 5 mg

Brand: Ditropan XL

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

Dosage for overactive bladder

IMMEDIATE-RELEASE ORAL TABLET

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Starting dosage: 5 mg taken by mouth 2–3 times per day
  • Maximum dosage: 5 mg taken by mouth 4–5 times per day

Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)

  • Starting dosage: 5 mg taken by mouth 2 times per day
  • Maximum dosage: 15 mg per day

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

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

EXTENDED-RELEASE ORAL TABLET

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

  • Starting dosage: 5–10 mg taken by mouth one time per day at the same time each day
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dosage by 5 mg at a time, up to a maximum of 30 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)

  • Starting dosage: 5 mg taken by mouth one time per day at the same time each day
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dosage by 5 mg at a time, up to a maximum of 20 mg per day.

Dosage for overactive bladder associated with a neurological condition

IMMEDIATE-RELEASE ORAL TABLET

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Starting dosage: 5 mg taken by mouth 2–3 times per day
  • Maximum dosage: 5 mg taken by mouth 4–5 times per day

Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)

  • Starting dosage: 5 mg taken by mouth 2 times per day
  • Maximum dosage: 15 mg per day

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

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

EXTENDED-RELEASE ORAL TABLET

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

  • Starting dosage: 5–10 mg taken by mouth one time per day at the same time each day
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dosage by 5 mg at a time, up to a maximum of 30 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)

  • Starting dosage: 5 mg taken by mouth one time per day at the same time each day
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dosage 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.

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Take as directed

Take as directed

Oxybutynin is used for long-term treatment. It 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 this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Important considerations

Important considerations for taking oxybutynin

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes oxybutynin for you.

General

  • You can take oxybutynin with or without food.
  • You should take the extended-release tablet at about the same time each day.
  • 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.

Storage

  • Store oxybutynin at a temperature as close to 77°F (25°C) as possible. You can store it briefly at a temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Refills

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 worsen your symptoms of overactive bladder. It may make this drug less effective in treating your condition. You should limit your caffeine intake while taking oxybutynin.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

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Alternatives

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.

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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