A to Z of MS
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A to Z of MS Tolterodine (Detrusitol)
Detrusitol, Detrusitol XL
Tolterodine is an anticholinergic drug that is used to improve bladder storage capacity. It is used in the treatment of urinary frequency and urgency.
How tolterodine 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, meaning that a dry mouth is a common side effect of the medication.
How tolterodine is given
Tolterodine is taken orally as tablets. Normal dosages are 2mg twice a day, or one 4mg tablet once a day, but these vary.
Side effects and contraindications
Dry mouth is the main side effect. 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.
Ethans KD, et al.
Efficacy and safety of tolterodine in people with neurogenic detrusor overactivity.
Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine 2004;27(3):214-218.