If you have an overactive bladder, your doctor might recommend using the overactive bladder patch. This treatment option can help relax your bladder muscles and relieve your symptoms. It contains the active ingredient oxybutynin, a medication that can reduce urinary urgency and frequency.
The patch is a discreet and easy treatment option for overactive bladder. Learn more about the benefits and risks.
Overactive bladder is most common among older women, but men and women of all ages can develop it. You might have an overactive bladder if you regularly:
- experience strong urges to urinate
- urinate more than eight times in 24 hours
- wake up multiple times in the middle of the night to urinate
- experience incontinence or urine leakage
If you have any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor. They can help diagnose the cause of your symptoms and recommend a treatment plan. If you have an overactive bladder, they may recommend the overactive bladder patch.
The overactive bladder patch may be an ideal treatment option if you don’t want to take tablets or other oral medications. To use it, simply apply to a clean area of skin, following the instructions provided. It will gradually deliver a dose of oxybutynin through your skin. This medication will help control bladder muscle spasms so you have fewer urges to urinate, bathroom trips, and accidents.
The patch is easy to use when you apply it correctly. For the best results, follow these simple steps:
- clean and dry your skin before applying it
- apply it to your hips, stomach, or buttocks
- avoid applying it to oily, irritated, or injured areas of skin
- avoid exposing it to sunlight or friction from tight clothing
- change it regularly, following the instructions provided
It may be best to avoid applying the patch on the same spot on your skin within a one week period. Apply your second patch of the week to a different spot.
While the patch is relatively easy and safe to use, it can cause some side effects. For example, you may experience:
- dry mouth
- discomfort at the site of the patch
Talk to your doctor about any symptoms that you develop. In rare cases, you may experience an allergic reaction. Get medical help immediately if you develop symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as:
- facial swelling
- breathing difficulties
- cramps, nausea, or vomiting
Oxybutynin has other potential side effects, including fainting, convulsions, balance problems, irregular heart rhythms, fever, facial flushing, hallucinations, and nervousness or agitation. As with any new medication you take, always read the package insert about side effects and talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
In 2013, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved the patch as an over-the-counter treatment option. That means you can pick it up from your local drugstore without a prescription. It’s sold under the brand name Oxytrol.
If the patch increases in popularity, additional products may become available over the counter or with a prescription. Oxybutynin isn’t the only medication used to treat overactive bladder.
Avoid self-medicating with the patch | Avoid self-medicating
While you don’t need a prescription to purchase the patch, it’s best to speak to your doctor before using it. Your symptoms may be caused by an underlying health condition that requires other treatment. For example, infections, nerve damage, and other conditions can cause symptoms similar to overactive bladder, such as urinary urgency and incontinence. You may not get the relief you’re looking for with the patch.
Always talk to your doctor about your symptoms before you use the patch. They can help diagnose the cause of your symptoms and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. They can also help you understand the potential risks and benefits of using the patch. It’s important to remember that problems other than overactive bladder can cause similar symptoms and that treating a condition with the wrong medication can lead to serious problems.
The patch can help relieve the symptoms of an overactive bladder, but it’s not a cure-all. Like other drugs used to treat overactive bladder, it’s designed to complement lifestyle changes. To help control your bladder and limit the urge to urinate:
- maintain a healthy weight
- limit caffeine and alcohol
- avoid drinking liquid before bedtime
Your doctor may also recommend Kegel exercises or bladder retraining to strengthen your bladder control.