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Bethanechol

INFORMATION

Uses

Bethanechol is used in the treatment of overactive urinary bladder (sudden urge to urinate and sometime even involuntary leakage of urine).

How it works

Bethanechol belongs to choline esters class of parasympathomimetics medicines. It functions similar to a natural chemical (neurotransmitter) named acetylcholine in the body. It relives urinary retention (holding urine in the bladder) by increasing the detrusor muscle (muscle which forms a layer of the wall of the bladder) contraction thereby facilitating urination. 

Common side effects

Allergic reaction, Flushing, Bradycardia, Fainting, Dizziness, Shortness of breath, Increased sweating, Stomach upset, Vomiting

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

Expert advice

  • Always take bethanechol on an empty stomach/ half an hour before food to reduce the risk of nausea.
  • Avoid using bethanechol if you are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Consult your doctor before taking bethanechol if you have a history of or you are suffering from asthma, bladder infection, fits (epilepsy), high blood pressure, heart disease, Parkinson's disease (disorder with shuffling walk, and trembling), overactive thyroid gland, or ulcers.
  • Stop bethanechol and consult your doctor immediately if you experience shortness of breath, fainting or very slow heart beat (pulse rate below 50 beats per minute).
  • Bethanechol may cause drowsiness and interfere with ability to drive or operate machinery.

Frequently asked questions

Bethanechol

Q.Is bethanechol an anticholinergic?
No, bethanechol is not anticholinergic medicine. It is a cholinergic agonist (a substance that stimulates an action), functions similar to a natural chemical (neurotransmitter) acetylcholine

Q.Is bethanechol a diuretic?
No, bethanechol is not a diuretic. It is a medicine that helps increase detrusor muscle (muscle which forms a layer of the wall of the bladder) contraction and facilitates urination

Q.Is bethanechol an antibiotic?
No, bethanechol is not an antibiotic. It is a medicine that helps increase detrusor muscle (muscle which forms a layer of the wall of the bladder) contraction and facilitates urination

Q.Is bethanechol safe for infants?
Safety of bethanechol has not been established and is not recommended for use in children below 18 years. Patients should follow advice of the doctor regarding its use

Q.What is bethanechol used for/ used to treat?
Bethanechol is used to treat acute postoperative (post-surgical), postpartum (post child birth) nonobstructive (without blockage) urinary retention (holding urine in the bladder), and in neurogenic bladder conditions (urinary bladder dysfunction due to improper communication between the spinal nerves and urinary bladder). Bethanechol may also be used in congenital megacolon (abnormal dilatation of large intestine which is present from birth), gastro-esophageal reflux and reflux esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus due to regurgitation)

Q.Does bethanechol cause depression or constipation?
There are no known effects of bethanechol on constipation or depression

Q.How does bethanechol acts on the bladder?
Bethanechol acts on the bladder and relives urinary retention (holding urine in the bladder) by increasing the detrusor muscle (muscle which forms a layer of the wall of the bladder) contraction thereby facilitating urination

Q.How long does bethanechol take to work?
Bethanechol starts its action within one hour after taking the medicine.


Content on this page was last updated on 28 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)