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Treatments > Medications Used In MS

Brand Name Chemical Name

Ditropan XL
(U.S. and Canada)

(ox-i-byoo-ti-nin) chloride-extended release

Primary Usage in MS

Generic Available
Bladder Dysfunction No

This form of oxybutynin is an extended-release antispasmodic that is formulated to help decrease muscle spasms of the bladder and the frequent urge to urinate caused by these spasms.

Proper Usage
The tablet is to be swallowed whole, once a day, with liquids. It can be taken with or without food. Because the medication is contained within a nonabsorbable shell that is designed to release the drug at a controlled rate, the tablet should not be chewed, crushed, or divided. The shell is routinely eliminated from the body in the stool.

This medication adds to the effects of alcohol and other central nervous system depressants (such as antihistamines, sedatives, tranquilizers, prescription pain medications, seizure medications, muscle relaxants). Be sure that your physician knows if you are taking these or any other medications.

Oxybutynin, like all anticholinergic medications, can induce drowsiness and/or blurred vision.

Oxybutynin, like all anticholinergic medications, can cause heat prostration (fever and heat stroke due to decreased sweating) when taken in very hot weather.

Oxybutynin may cause drying of the mouth. Since continuing dryness of the mouth can increase the risk of dental disease, alert your dentist if you are taking oxybutynin.

Oxybutynin has not been studied in pregnant women. It has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in animal studies. Do not take this medication while pregnant unless specifically instructed to do so by your physician.

This medication has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies. However, since it tends to decrease body secretions, oxybutynin may reduce the flow of breast milk. Do not take this medication while nursing without discussing it with your physician.

Possible Side Effects
Side effects that typically go away as your body adjusts to the medication and do not require medical attention unless they continue for a few weeks or are bothersome: constipation*; decreased sweating; unusual drowsiness*; dryness of mouth, nose, throat; blurred vision*; decreased flow of breast milk; decreased sexual ability*; difficulty swallowing*; headache; increased light sensitivity; nausea or vomiting; trouble sleeping; unusual tiredness or weakness*.

Less common side effects that should be reported to your physician immediately: difficulty in urination*.

*Since it may be difficult to distinguish between certain common symptoms of MS and some side effects of oxybutynin, be sure to consult your healthcare professionals if an abrupt change of this type occurs.

Medication Index

Other Medications Used to Treat Bladder Dysfunction

For Urination Frequency

Read more on bladder dysfunction and learn management strategies to help live comfortably.

Reprinted with permission from Rosalind C. Kalb (ed.), Multiple Sclerosis: The Questions You Have—The Answers You Need (4th ed.). New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2007.

Last updated September 19, 2007