A to Z of MS
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A to Z of MS Oxybutynin (Cystrin, Ditropan, Lyrinel)
Cystrin, Ditropan, Lyrinel XL
Oxybutynin is an anticholinergic drug that is used to improve bladder storage capacity. In MS it is used in the treatment of urinary frequency and urgency.
How oxybutynin works
All anticholinergic drugs reduce the action of the chemical messenger that passes nerve messages to the muscle in the bladder wall. This reduces the bladder's tendency to contract. The same chemical messenger activates the salivary glands, and so dry mouth is a common side effect of the medication.
How is oxybutynin given
Oxybutynin is taken orally as tablets.
Side effects and contraindications
Dry mouth is the main side effect. It may also make mental skills less efficient. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should seek a doctor's advice.
All anticholinergic drugs may worsen urinary retention so monitoring how much urine is retained in the bladder before starting on medication is important.
Nicholas RS, et al.
Anticholinergics for urinary symptoms in multiple sclerosis.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009;(1):CD004193.