What Is the Oxybutynin Patch Used For?
The oxybutynin patch is used for treating symptoms of an overactive bladder, such as sudden or frequent urges to urinate, frequent urination, and leaking accidents. It is the only overactive bladder medication that is available in patch form. Currently, there are no approved oxybutynin patch uses for children.
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.
The oxybutynin patch (Oxytrol®) is a prescription bladder medication approved for treating symptoms of an overactive bladder. It belongs to a group of medications known as anticholinergics or antimuscarinics. The oxybutynin patch is the first and only overactive bladder medication available in patch form.
An overactive bladder is caused by contractions of the bladder muscle that are too frequent and usually uncontrollable. Normally, the bladder fills slowly until nerve signals tell your brain that the bladder is full and you need to use the bathroom. Then the bladder muscles contract when you urinate. However, in some people, the bladder muscles contract frequently and spastically. This causes the following overactive bladder symptoms:
- Sudden, frequent urges to urinate (known as urinary urgency)
- A frequent need to urinate (usually defined as needing to go more than eight times in 24 hours)
- Leaking accidents (known as urinary incontinence or urge incontinence).
Sometimes, an overactive bladder is caused by other medical problems, such as an enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). In these cases, it is best to treat the underlying problem instead of using the oxybutynin patch. The medication is not approved for other types of bladder problems. In fact, the oxybutynin patch may actually make some other types of bladder problems worse.