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Oxybutynin

Oxybutynin

How should this medicine be used?

Oxybutynin comes as a tablet, a syrup, and an extended-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth. The tablets and syrup are usually taken two to four times a day. The extended-release tablet is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take oxybutynin at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take oxybutynin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.Swallow the extended-release tablets whole with plenty of water or other liquid. Do not split, chew, or crush the extended-release tablets. Tell your doctor if you cannot swallow tablets.Use a dose-measuring spoon or cup to measure the correct amount of liquid for each dose, not a household spoon.Your doctor may start you on a low dose of oxybutynin and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every week.Oxybutynin may control your symptoms but will not cure your condition. Continue to take oxybutynin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking oxybutynin without talking to your doctor.You may notice some improvement in your symptoms within the first 2 weeks of your treatment. However, it may take 6–8 weeks to experience the full benefit of oxybutynin. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve at all within 8 weeks.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you are taking the tablet or syrup, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

If you are taking the extended-release tablet and you remember more than 8 hours before it is time for the next dose, take the missed dose right away. However, if your next dose is due in less than 8 hours, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed one.

Side Effects

Dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, dry eyes, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, headache, unusual taste in mouth, dry/flushed skin, and weakness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To relieve dry mouth, suck on (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water or use a saliva substitute. To relieve dry eyes, use artificial tears or other eye lubricants. Consult your pharmacist for further advice.

To prevent constipation, maintain a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise. If you become constipated, consult your pharmacist for help in choosing a laxative (e.g., stimulant-type with stool softener).

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

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 decreases your sudden need to urinate, having to urinate often, and leaking in between bathroom visits.

Important warnings

Swelling warning: Oxybutynin can cause angioedema (swelling) around your eyes, lips, genitals, hands, or feet due to an allergic reaction. If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking this drug and seek emergency help right away.

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.

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