Why is this medication prescribed?
Oxybutynin topical gel 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)control frequent urination, urgent need to urinate, and urge urinary incontinence (sudden strong need to urinate that may cause urine leakage) in people who have overactive bladder OAB; condition in which the bladder muscles tighten uncontrollably to empty the bladder even when it is not full). Oxybutynin gel is in a class of medications called antimuscarinics. It works by relaxing the bladder muscles.
How should this medicine be used?
Topical oxybutynin comes as a gel to apply to the skin. It is usually applied once a day. Apply oxybutynin gel 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. Apply oxybutynin gel exactly as directed. Do not apply more or less of it or apply it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Oxybutynin gel may help control your symptoms but will not cure your condition. Continue to use oxybutynin gel even if you feel well. Do not stop using oxybutynin gel without talking to your doctor.
Oxybutynin gel is only for use on the skin. Do not swallow oxybutynin gel and be careful not to get the medication in your eyes. If you get oxybutynin gel in your eyes, wash them with warm, clean water right away. Call your doctor if your eyes become irritated.
You can apply oxybutynin gel anywhere on your shoulders, upper arms, stomach, or thighs. Choose a different area to apply your medication every day, and apply the entire dose to the place you choose. Do not apply oxybutynin gel to your breasts or your genital area. Do not apply the medication to skin that has recently been shaved or that has open sores, rashes, or tattoos.
Keep the area where you applied oxybutynin gel dry for at least 1 hour after you apply the medication. Do not swim, bathe, shower, exercise, or get the area wet during this time. You may apply sunscreen during your treatment with oxybutynin gel.
Oxybutynin gel may catch fire. Stay away from open flames and do not smoke while you are applying the medication and until it is completely dry.
Oxybutynin gel comes in a pump that dispenses measured amounts of the medication and in single dose packets. If you are using the pump, you will have to prime it before the first use. To prime the pump, hold the container upright and press the top down completely 4 times. Do not use any medication that comes out when you are priming the pump.
To use oxybutynin gel, follow these steps:
- Wash the area where you plan to apply the medication with mild soap and water. Allow it to dry.
- Wash your hands.
- If you are using the pump, hold the pump upright and press down on the top three times. You can hold the pump so that the medication comes out directly onto the area where you want to apply it, or you can dispense the medication onto your palm and apply it to your chosen area with your fingers.
- If you are using the single dose packets, tear one packet at the notch to open it. Squeeze all of the medication out of the packet. The amount of medication that you squeeze out of the packet should be about the size of a nickel. You can squeeze the medication directly onto the area where you plan to apply it, or you can squeeze it onto your palm and apply it to your chosen area with your fingers. Dispose of the empty packet safely, so that is out of the reach of children.
- Wash your hands again.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
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 applying oxybutynin gel,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to oxybutynin (also in Ditropan, Ditropan XL, Oxytrol), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in oxybutynin gel. Ask your pharmacist or check the manufacturer's patient information for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antihistamines (in cough and cold medications); ipratropium (Atrovent); medications for osteoporosis or bone disease such as alendronate (Fosamax), etidronate (Didronel), ibandronate (Boniva), and risedronate (Actonel); medications for irritable bowel disease, motion sickness, Parkinson's disease, ulcers, or urinary problems; and other medications used to treat overactive bladder. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had narrow angle glaucoma (a serious eye condition that may cause vision loss), any condition that stops your bladder from emptying completely, or any condition that causes your stomach to empty slowly or incompletely. Your doctor may tell you not to use oxybutynin gel.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any type of blockage in the bladder or digestive system; gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, a condition in which the contents of the stomach back up into the esophagus and cause pain and heartburn); 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); or constipation.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using oxybutynin gel, call your doctor.
- you should know that oxybutynin gel may make you dizzy or drowsy and may cause blurred vision. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are using oxybutynin gel. Alcohol can make the side effects from oxybutynin gel worse.
- do not let anyone touch the skin in the area where you applied oxybutynin gel. Cover the area where you applied the medication with clothing if necessary to prevent others from coming into direct contact with the area. If someone else touches the skin where you applied oxybutynin gel, he or she should wash the area with soap and water right away.
- you should know that oxybutynin gel 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?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply extra gel to make up for a missed dose.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Oxybutynin gel may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth
- blurred vision
- redness, rash, itching, pain, or irritation in the area where you applied the medication
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- rash anywhere on the body
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- frequent, urgent, or painful urination
Oxybutynin gel may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are using 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.
If someone swallows oxybutynin gel, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- irregular heartbeat
- excessive tiredness
- dry skin
- widened pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes)
- difficulty urinating
- memory loss
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else use 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.
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