The oxybutynin patch is available by prescription to treat the symptoms of an overactive bladder. It relaxes the bladder muscles to help reduce urinary urgency, leaking accidents, and frequent urination. The oxybutynin patch, which is usually changed twice a week, is the only bladder control medication available in patch form. Potential side effects include constipation, dry mouth, and itching at the application site.
Starting in September 2013, oxybutynin patches will be available without a prescription and will be sold under the name "Oxytrol for Women" to treat women over age 18 with overactive bladder. The prescription version will still be available. It is unclear how this will affect the price and insurance coverage for the oxybutynin patch.
What Is the Oxybutynin Patch?
The oxybutynin patch (Oxytrol®) is a prescription medication used to treat an overactive bladder. It is currently the only bladder control medication available in patch form. The oxybutynin patch is approved to help treat the following bladder problems due to an overactive bladder:
- Sudden, frequent urges to urinate (known as urinary urgency)
- Frequent urination (known as urinary frequency)
- Leaking accidents (known as urinary incontinence or urge incontinence).
(Click What Is the Oxybutynin Patch Used For? for more information on the oxybutynin patch uses, including possible off-label uses.)
Oxybutynin Patch Side Effects
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with the oxybutynin patch. However, not everyone who uses the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of the oxybutynin patch include, but are not limited to:
- Itching at the application site
- Dry mouth (see Oxytrol and Dry Mouth)
- Skin redness at the application site
- Constipation (see Oxytrol and Constipation).
(Click Side Effects of the Oxybutynin Patch to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)