Ditropan - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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About this Medication
  • Brand Name: Ditropan (U.S. and Canada)
  • Chemical Name: oxybutynin (ox-i-byoo-ti-nin)
  • Usage in MS: Bladder Dysfunction
  • Generic Available: Yes


Oxybutynin is an antispasmodic that helps decrease muscle spasms of the bladder and the frequent urge to urinate caused by these spasms.

Proper Usage

This medication is usually taken with water on an empty stomach, but your physician may want you to take it with food or milk to lessen stomach upset.

Warnings and Precautions

The FDA has issued a warning stating that angioedema (a swelling similar to hives that occurs under the skin) of the face, lips, tongue and/or larynx has been reported with oxybutynin taken orally. In some cases, angioedema occurred after the first dose; in other cases it occurred with later doses. The swelling was severe enough in some individuals to interfere with breathing and required hospitalization and emergency treatment. Although this reaction appears to be relatively rare, given the many years that oxybutynin has been used safely and successfully by people with MS and others, any person taking a medication containing oxybutynin who experiences swelling of the tongue or throat or difficulty breathing should stop the medication and seek immediate medical attention.

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.

This medication may cause your eyes to become more sensitive to light.

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.

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.

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.