Bladder dysfunction is commonly experienced by people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Its symptoms often consist of a feeling of urgency, frequency in urinating, incomplete emptying, and, sometimes, urinary incontinence. Since these symptoms can also be attributed to a urinary tract infection, physicians will typically rule an infection out before prescribing a treatment to patients, such as Ditropan (oxybutynin), an FDA-approved drug for bladder problems.
Oxybutynin is an antimuscarinic medicine. Antimuscarinic drugs reduce involuntary contractions of the bladder muscles, and increase bladder capacity. They are used in people with MS to treat overactive bladder, which is an uncontrollable muscle contraction and leads to urinary urgency, frequency, and incontinence. Oxybutynin works by relaxing the bladder muscles and preventing contractions, reducing the frequency of uninhibited contractions of the bladder muscle and slowing the desire, frequency, and urgency to empty the bladder.3
Oxybutynin comes as an extended-release (long-acting) oral tablet. The extended-release tablet dose is typically 5 or 10 mg, and is usually taken once a day with or without food. It can be increased to 30 mg daily (in 5 mg increments). Oxybutynin should be taken at around the same time every day.
Common oxybutynin side effects include dry mouth and eyes, blurred vision, mild constipation, stomach pain, thirst, and painful urination.
There are generic versions of Ditropan approved by the FDA as well, which can be prescribed in place of the premium brand to make the therapy more cost effective for patients.
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