Bethanechol

Pronunciation

Generic Name: bethanechol (beth-AN-ih-kole)
Brand Name: Urecholine

Bethanechol is used for:

Treating urinary retention. It may be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Bethanechol is a cholinergic agent. It works by stimulating the bladder to contract, which improves urine flow.

Do NOT use bethanechol if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in bethanechol
  • you have asthma, epilepsy, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid, heart disease, Parkinson disease, stomach ulcers, severe low blood pressure or heart rate, a lesion or obstruction of the stomach, bladder obstruction, inflammation of the stomach or intestines, or a lack of normal muscle tension and muscles that do not contract properly
  • you have recently had surgery in the intestines or bladder or have had a resection of the stomach tract

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 2014 Update: First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using bethanechol:

Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
  • if you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), low blood pressure, slow heart rate, or have had a heart attack

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with bethanechol. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Mecamylamine because seriously low blood pressure may occur

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if bethanechol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use bethanechol:

Use bethanechol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take bethanechol on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. If taken soon after eating, nausea and vomiting may occur.
  • If you miss a dose of bethanechol, take it as soon as possible. If it is more than 2 hours since your dose was to be taken, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use bethanechol.

Important safety information:

  • Bethanechol may cause dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to bethanechol. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever can increase the effects. To prevent them, sit or stand up slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness.
  • Use bethanechol with extreme caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using bethanechol during pregnancy. It is unknown if bethanechol is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking bethanechol.

Possible side effects of bethanechol:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Belching; change in pupil size or vision; constant feeling of having to urinate; diarrhea; discomfort; dizziness; fainting; fall in blood pressure; flushing causing a feeling of warmth; headache; lightheadedness; nausea; pain; rumbling stomach; salivation; sensation of heat around the face; stomach cramps; sweating; tearing; urinary urgency.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); asthma attacks.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include flushing; nausea; salivation; stomach discomfort; sweating; vomiting.

Proper storage of bethanechol:

Store bethanechol at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep bethanechol out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about bethanechol, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Bethanechol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take bethanechol or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about bethanechol. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to bethanechol. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using bethanechol.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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