Oxybutynin Side Effects

by on March 27, 2012


Commonly reported side effects of Oxybutynin include dry mouth, depression, confusion, difficulty urinating, drowsiness, constipation, increased heartrate and blurred vision.

Common Oxybutynin Side Effects

Oxybutynin side effects are quite common and often vary in severity depending on dosage strength and frequency of ingestion. The most frequently reported side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Nausea/vomiting/upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Strange taste in the mouth
  • Weakness
  • Skin dryness and/or flushing
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Runny nose

The most common and troublesome Oxybutynin side effects concern the mouth and eye dryness caused by the medication. It is estimated that a quarter of all the individuals prescribed Oxybutynin by their doctors ultimately give up on taking it because of dry mouth. In order to lessen mouth dryness, suck on sugar-free candies or lozenges, ice chips, chew gum, drink more water, and try a saliva substitute. To alleviate dry eyes, try an eye lubricant or artificial tears.

Likewise, constipation can be remedied by adding more fiber and water to your diet; consult your pharmacist or physician for more tips on reducing oxybutynin side effects such as these. Try to remember that your doctor believes that this medication is warranted to combat urinary difficulties, and that the majority of Oxybutynin takers experience few major negative side effects.

Severe Oxybutynin Side Effects

Ditropan Side Effects OxybutyninOccasionally, people will have more severe side effects from taking Oxybutynin. If you experience any of these problems, consult with your physician as soon as possible:

  • Decrease in sexual activity/libido
  • Problems with urination
  • Dehydration
  • Aggravation of hypothyroidism
  • Heart palpitations or a fast, pounding heartbeat
  • Kidney infection symptoms (painful, burning, or too-frequent urination, fever, low back pain)
  • Significant changes in your mental state or mood
  • Swollen extremities
  • Eye pain or vision problems
  • Seizures
  • Symptoms of intestinal blockage (such as persistent severe nausea and/or vomiting, prolonged bout of constipation)
  • Allergic reaction symptoms (swelling, rash/hives, itching, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, swollen throat and/or tongue, angioedema, trouble breathing)

Oxybutynin During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

At this time, it is not known whether the active ingredient in Oxybutynin can cross the placental boundary or is excreted in breast milk. Clinical tests have not demonstrated that taking Ditropan while pregnant causes fetal health problems, and the FDA has assigned this medication a Pregnancy Class B rating, meaning it is safe under physician’s orders. Some lactating women have reported a decrease in their breast milk production while taking Oxybutynin. Discuss taking Oxybutynin with your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing, to find out if it is right for you.

Contraindications to Taking Oxybutynin

Oxybutynin should not be used by everyone. If you have any of the following conditions or characteristics, discuss Oxybutynin with your physician, to determine whether it is right for you:

  • Sensitivity/allergy to Ditropan (oxybutynin) or any of its chemical components
  • Urinary retention
  • Gastric retention
  • Other gastrointestinal motility conditions of moderate to severe
  • Uncontrolled, narrow-angle or angle-closure glaucoma
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Partial or full obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Reflux disease
  • Gastrointestinal atony (especially in elderly patients)

Oxybutynin (Ditropan) is a well-known and widely-prescribed medication that has demonstrated its efficacy at treating urinary issues such as incontinence and frequent urination. Oxybutynin side effects such as dry mouth and eyes are reported by many people, but the positive effect that this drug has on their troublesome issues is worth the temporary discomfort.