What Is Oxybutynin Used For?
Oxybutynin is used for treating symptoms of neurogenic bladder. By calming frequent, uncontrollable contractions of the bladder muscles, the medicine can help relieve painful urination, sudden or frequent urges to urinate, leaking accidents, and frequent urination. Oxybutynin uses are approved for both adults and children as young as five years old. At this time, there are no off-label uses for the drug.
Oxybutynin chloride (Ditropan®) is a prescription medication used to treat bladder problems caused by nerve problems (known medically as neurogenic bladder). In particular, oxybutynin is approved to treat the following neurogenic bladder symptoms:
- Frequent urination
- Sudden, frequent urges to urinate
- Painful urination
- Leaking accidents (known as urinary incontinence or urge incontinence).
Bladder problems are often caused by muscle contractions that are too frequent and uncontrollable. Normally, the bladder slowly fills until nerve signals tell your brain that the bladder is full and you need to use the bathroom. Then the brain sends nerve signals to the bladder, causing the muscles to contract when you urinate. Nerve signals are important in order for this process to work correctly. Sometimes, nerve problems (which may occur in the brain, spinal cord, or nerves of the bladder) interfere with this process. Oxybutynin can be useful for treating bladder problems caused by a nerve disorder that causes the muscles to contract too frequently and uncontrollably.
Sometimes, bladder problems occur due to nerve disorders that prevent the bladder muscles from contracting. In these cases, not only is oxybutynin ineffective, but it actually worsens such problems.