Over the counter relief for overactive bladder in women
Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Oxytrol for Women. It is the first over-the-counter treatment for overactive bladder in women ages 18 years and older. Oxytrol for Women is a patch that is applied to the skin every four days and delivers 3.9 milligrams of oxybutynin per day.
Symptoms of an overactive bladder include leaking urine (urinary incontinence), feeling the sudden and urgent need to urinate, and frequent urination. Overactive bladder affects an estimated 33 million Americans, the majority of whom are older women.
Oxytrol for Women contains oxybutynin which belongs to a class of drugs known as anticholinergics. It works by reducing muscle spasms of the bladder and urinary tract. Oxytrol for Women’s safety and effectiveness for over-the-counter use were established in more than 5,000 subjects participating in nine studies. Side effects reported during clinical studies were mild and included skin irritation where the patch was applied, dry mouth and constipation.
Those with the following should not use Oxytrol:
• liver disease;
• kidney disease;
• myasthenia gravis;
• an intestinal disorder, such as ulcerative colitis
• Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise.
• Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated while you are using Oxytrol.
• Do not expose the Oxytrol patch to sunlight. It should be worn under clothing.
• The Oxytrol patch may burn your skin if you wear the patch during an MRI.
Oxytrol for Women is marketed by Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J.
Take away message: Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.