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Living with MS

Treatments > Medications Used In MS

Brand Name Chemical Name

Detrol (U.S.)

Tolterodine
(tole-TARE-oh-deen)

Primary Usage in MS

Generic Available
Bladder Dysfunction No

Description
Tolterodine is an antispasmodic that is used to treat bladder spasms causing urinary frequency, urgency, or urge incontinence.

Proper Usage
Take only the amount of this medication that has been prescribed for you by your doctor; taking more than the prescribed amount can cause adverse effects.

If you miss a dose of this medication, take it as soon as possible. If, however, it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double dose.

Precautions
Individuals with any of the following medical problems should not take this medication: gastric retention, urinary retention, or narrow angle or uncontrolled glaucoma. Tolterodine can aggravate each of these conditions.

Tolterodine may cause dizziness or drowsiness; use caution when driving or doing any activities that require alertness.

Tolterodine may cause drying of the mouth. Since continued dryness of the mouth can increase the risk of dental disease, alert your dentist if you are taking this medication.

This medication may interact with fluoxetine (Prozac) in such a way as to increase the effect of the tolterodine. If you are taking fluoxetine, your physician may start you at a lower dose of tolterodine, gradually raising it to the standard dose if necessary.

This medication has not been studied in pregnant women. However, it has been shown in animal studies to result in increased embryo deaths, reduced birth weight, and increased incidence of fetal abnormalities. If you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, do not start this medication before you have discussed it with your physician.

It is not known whether tolterodine passes into breast milk. Since tolterodine is known to pass into the milk of nursing animals, causing temporary reduction in weight gain in the offspring, women should stop taking this drug as long as they are nursing.

Possible Side Effects
Side effects that will 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: dry mouth; dizziness; headache; fatigue*; gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, constipation*, or diarrhea; difficult urination.

Less common side effects that should be reported to your physician immediately: abnormal vision, including difficulty adjusting to distances; urinary tract infection.

Symptoms of overdose: severe central anticholinergic effects, including blurred vision*; clumsiness or unsteadiness*; confusion; seizures; severe diarrhea, excessive watering of the mouth; increasing muscle weakness (especially in the arms, neck, shoulders, and tongue); muscle cramps or twitching; severe nausea or vomiting; shortness of breath, slow heartbeat; slurred speech*; unusual irritability, nervousness, or restlessness; unusual tiredness or weakness*.

*Since it may be difficult to distinguish between certain common symptoms of MS and some side effects of tolterodine, be sure to consult your health care professional if an abrupt change of this type occurs.

Medication Index

Other Medications Used to Treat Bladder Dysfunction

For Urination Frequency

Read more on bladder dysfunction and learn management strategies to help live comfortably.


Reprinted with permission from Rosalind C. Kalb (ed.), Multiple Sclerosis: The Questions You Have—The Answers You Need (4th ed.). New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2007.

Last updated September 19, 2007

     
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