Why is this medication prescribed?
Solifenacin is used to treat overactive bladder (a condition in which the bladder muscles contract uncontrollably and cause frequent urination, urgent need to urinate, and inability to control urination). Solifenacin is in a class of medications called antimuscarinics. It works by relaxing the bladder muscles.
How should this medicine be used?
Solifenacin comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. To help you remember to take solifenacin, take it at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take solifenacin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them. Swallow the tablets with water or another liquid.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of solifenacin and increase your dose later in your treatment.
Solifenacin may help to control your symptoms but will not cure your condition. Continue to take solifenacin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking solifenacin without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking solifenacin,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to solifenacin, any other medications, or corn.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), and ketoconazole (Nizoral); carbamazepine (Tegretol); cimetidine (Tagamet); cisapride (Propulsid); clarithromycin (Biaxin); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); danazol (Danocrine); delavirdine (Rescriptor); dexamethasone (Decadron); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac); disopyramide (Norpace); dofetilide (Tikosyn); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); ethosuximide (Zarontin); fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem); fluvoxamine (Luvox); HIV protease inhibitors such as indinavir (Crixivan) and ritonavir (Norvir); isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid);metronidazole (Flagyl); moxifloxacin (Avelox); nefazodone; phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); phenytoin (Dilantin);pimozide (Orap); procainamide (Procanbid, Pronestyl); quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex); rifabutin (Mycobutin); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); sotalol (Betapace); sparfloxacin (Zagam); thioridazine (Mellaril); troglitazone (Rezulin); troleandomycin (TAO); verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan); and zafirlukast (Accolate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's wort.
- tell your doctor if you or any of your family members have or have ever had prolonged QT interval (a problem with the way electricity is conducted in the heart that may cause fainting) or unexplained fainting; and if you have or have ever had glaucoma (an eye disease that can cause vision loss); any type of blockage in the bladder or digestive system; difficulty emptying your bladder or a weak urine stream; myasthenia gravis (a disorder of the nervous system that causes muscle weakness); ulcerative colitis (a condition which causes swelling and sores in the lining of the colon [large intestine] and rectum); benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH, enlargement of the prostate, a male reproductive organ); constipation; or liver or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking solifenacin, call your doctor. Do not take solifenacin while you are breastfeeding.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking solifenacin.
- you should know that solifenacin may cause blurred vision. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- you should know that solifenacin may make it harder for your body to cool down when it gets very hot. Avoid exposure to extreme heat, and call your doctor or get emergency medical treatment if you have fever or other signs of heat stroke such as dizziness, upset stomach, headache, confusion, and fast pulse after you are exposed to heat.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Talk to your doctor about drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time the next day. Do not take two doses of solifenacin in the same day.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Solifenacin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth
- stomach pain
- upset stomach
- dry eyes
- blurred vision
- extreme tiredness
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
- severe stomach pain
- constipation that lasts longer than 3 days
- painful or frequent urination
- bloody or cloudy urine
- back pain
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
Solifenacin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- dry mouth
- dry eyes
- blurred vision
- enlarged pupils (black circle in the middle of the eye)
- fast heartbeat
- shaking hands that you cannot control
- difficulty walking
- hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor .
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.