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Oxybutynin (Ditropan)  

Oxybutynin (Ditropan) belongs to the class of anticholinergic drugs, a group of medications that block the actions of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the body. Ditropan is used in the treatment of urinary tract and bladder infections. Mainly used in the after-prostate-cancer treatment, this drug works primarily by relaxing the muscles around the bladder. It also works as an effective relaxing agent in cases of frequent urination. Prepared synthetically, Oxybutynin is generally taken orally. 

Indications: Oxybutynin is mainly indicated in patients who are experiencing frequent urination and inability to control its urges, a basic trouble for patients struggling with prostate cancer. Many of these patients suffer from an over-active bladder, a condition in which the bladder undergoes uncontrolled spasm, and many other conditions that affect the bladder muscles. Since Oxybutynin belongs to the class of drugs known as anticholinergic, it works by relaxing the bladder muscles and renders relief from frequent, urgent or uncontrollable urination. Oxybutynin is also prescribed for non-cancerous infections. 

This drug is also most recommended for the following purposes: 

  • Symptoms of overactive bladder that leads to urine leakage and nocturia (urination during night) 
  • Symptoms leading to the muscle spasms of the bladder and the urinary tract 
  • Symptoms of incontinence after prostate cancer treatment 

Dosage: Those adults suffering from bladder problems are recommended to take general dosage of 5mg twice or thrice a day. For children, the usual dosage has to be 5mg twice a day. However, a medical practitioner or pharmacist may prescribe another appropriate dosage. 

Contraindications: Oxybutynin (Ditropan) faces contraindications in the following cases: 

  • If the patient suffers from untreated angle closure glaucoma and/or untreated narrow anterior chamber angles.  
  • If the patient suffers from partial or complete obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract, hernia, paralytic ileus, megacolon, severe colitis and myasthenia gravis.  
  • If the patient suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease or intestinal problem in elderly or debilitated patient 
  • If the patient shows hypersensitivity to the drug or is allergic to its use 

Mechanism of Action (MOA): The drug Oxybutynin follows a dual mode of action. On one hand, due to the release of acetylcholine, it stimulates the contraction of the smooth muscles of the bladder. Simultaneously, it also suppresses involuntary contractions of the muscles by blocking the release of acetylcholine. This blocking action is known as “anticholinergic effect.”  

Absorption – Taken orally and sometimes by the gels available, it is readily absorbed after oral administration. It has a bio-availability of 6%. However, food may delay its absorption sometimes and thus increase its bio-availability by 25%. 

Distribution – It is mainly distributed in the brain, lungs and kidney after being administered orally.  

Metabolism – It is readily metabolized to active desethyloxybutynin and inactive phenylcyclohexylglycolic acid metabolites. This is mainly found in the liver and intestinal walls. 

Excretion – It is mainly excreted in urine in the metabolite forms. 

Interactions: Oxybutynin tends to interact with certain drugs such as darifenacin, flavoxate, tolterodine, glycopyrrolate (Robinul), mepenzolate (Cantil), amitriptyline, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, doxepin and others. 

Side Effects: Oxybutynin may cause few of the following side effects like: