|Generic Name||Brand Name|
Anticholinergic medicines block nerves that control bladder muscle contractions and allow for relaxation of the bladder smooth muscle. These actions work together to help control urge urinary incontinence.
These medicines rarely cure urge incontinence or overactive bladder. In general, people taking these medicines had about 5 fewer trips to the toilet and 4 fewer leakage episodes each week. People taking these medicines also felt they had a better quality of life.1
Adding these medicines to behavioural therapies like bladder training can help symptoms of urge incontinence and overactive bladder more than behavioural treatment alone.2
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Dry mouth is common with these medicines. To help with dry mouth, you can chew sugarless gum, suck on sugarless candy, or melt ice in your mouth. If you continue to have problems with dry mouth after a couple weeks, call your doctor. Dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
- Nabi G, et al. (2006). Anticholinergic drugs versus placebo for overactive bladder syndrome in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4).
- Alhasso AA, et al. (2006). Anticholinergic drugs versus non-drug active therapies for overactive bladder syndrome in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4).
Last Revised: April 28, 2012
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.