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FDA issues warning about medications containing oxybutynin

July 15, 2011

Some of medications (Ditropan®, Ditropan XL®, Gelnique® gel, Oxytrol® transdermal patch) used to treat urinary problems in people with MS contain oxybutynin. The FDA has added a warning to the labeling of these medications 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. Individuals who have questions or concerns about this medication should discuss them with their physician.

Read more about bladder dysfunction in MS.

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Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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