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Detrol LA Side Effects

Generic Name: tolterodine

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of tolterodine. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Detrol LA.

In Summary

Common side effects of Detrol LA include: xerostomia. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to tolterodine: oral capsule extended release, oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by tolterodine (the active ingredient contained in Detrol LA). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Severity: Major

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking tolterodine:

More common:
  • Abnormal vision, including difficulty with adjusting to distances
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • frequent urge to urinate
Less common:
  • Chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle aches and pains
  • nausea
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • shivering
  • shortness of breath or troubled breathing
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • sweating
  • tightness of the chest or wheezing
  • trouble with sleeping
  • vomiting
Incidence not known:
  • Being forgetful
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, ankles, lower legs, or feet
  • confusion about identity, place, and time
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • hives
  • itching
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • mood or mental changes
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • rapid weight gain
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • skin rash
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss

Severity: Minor

Some of the side effects that can occur with tolterodine may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • dry eyes
  • dry mouth
  • upset stomach
Less common:
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • blurred vision
  • difficulty with moving
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • dry skin
  • fear or nervousness
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • sensation of spinning
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • stomach discomfort
  • weight gain

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to tolterodine: oral capsule extended release, oral tablet


General side effects reported during postmarketing experience have included hallucinations. Most of the side effects of tolterodine (the active ingredient contained in Detrol LA) are extensions of its pharmacologic activity and are anticholinergic in nature. In clinical trials, 8% of patients discontinued treatment due to adverse events. Among the most common complaints leading to discontinuation was headache, which occurred in 11% of patients.[Ref]


Most reports of dry mouth were mild to moderate in intensity. Severe dry mouth was reported during therapy with tolterodine (the active ingredient contained in Detrol LA) by 1% to 5% of patients in several large, placebo controlled studies.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal side effects reported the most frequently have included dry mouth (19.7% to 39.5%). Dyspepsia, constipation, abdominal pain, and flatulence have been reported in 1% to 10% of patients. Diarrhea (1.8%), nausea (1.2%), and gastroesophageal reflux (1%) have been reported. Decreased motility and GI hemorrhage have been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Ocular side effects have included abnormal or blurred vision (4.7%) and xerophthalmia (3.8%).[Ref]

Nervous system

Reports of aggravation of symptoms of dementia (e.g., confusion, disorientation, and delusion) have been reported after tolterodine (the active ingredient contained in Detrol LA) therapy was initiated in patients taking cholinesterase inhibitors for the treatment of dementia.

A 73-year-old female presented with a two-year history of decreased short-term memory and vivid hallucinations of deceased relatives that occurred only during nighttime sleep; she awoke regularly to converse with these relatives. The symptoms began several weeks after taking tolterodine (2 mg twice daily) for urinary incontinence. These hallucinations did not distress the patient and resolved after three months of donepezil treatment. Her memory impairment improved after tolterodine was discontinued for several months. It recurred after tolterodine therapy was restarted.[Ref]

Nervous system side effects including headache, vertigo or dizziness, and fatigue have been reported in 1% to 10% of patients. Somnolence (0.4% to 10%), asthenia (3.6%), insomnia (0.4% to 1.6%), nervousness (1%), confusion (less than 1%), and hallucinations (less than 1%) have been reported. Syncope, convulsions, disorientation, memory impairment, and aggravation of symptoms of dementia (e.g., confusion, disorientation, and delusion) have been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects including dysuria (1% to 10%), urinary tract infection (0.4% to 9%), urinary retention (less than 1% to 1.7%), and impaired urination (0.4%) have been reported.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects have infrequently included hypertension or minor increases in heart rate. Peripheral edema has been reported in 1% of patients. Tachycardia, peripheral edema, chest pain, ventricular arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, cardiac failure, palpitations, bradycardia, collapse, and transient ischemic attacks have been reported during postmarking experience.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity side effects including allergic reactions have been reported in less than 1% of patients. Anaphylactoid reactions have been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects have rarely included acute mixed liver injury. Hepatic dysfunction has also been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects including flushed skin have been reported in less than 1% of patients.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects including bronchitis and sinusitis have been reported in 1% to 10% of patients. Cough (4% to 7%), rhinitis (4% to 7%), sore throat (4% to 7%), respiratory infection (4% to 6%), and influenza (0.4% to 1%) have been reported.[Ref]


Metabolic side effects including weight gain have been reported in 1% to 10% of patients.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects including depression have been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Renal side effects including renal dysfunction have been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Other side effects including pyrexia have been reported in 4% of patients.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Detrol (tolterodine)." Pharmacia and Upjohn, Kalamazoo, MI.

2. Chancellor MB, Appell RA, Sathyan G, Gupta SK "A comparison of the effects on saliva output of oxybutynin chloride and tolterodine tartrate." Clin Ther 23 (2001): 753-60

3. Ruscin JM, Morgenstern NE "Tolterodine use for symptoms of overactive bladder." Ann Pharmacother 33 (1999): 1073-82

4. Khullar V, Hill S, Laval KU, Schiotz HA, Jonas U, Versi E "Treatment of urge-predominant mixed urinary incontinence with tolterodine extended release: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial." Urology 64 (2004): 269-74; discussion 274-5

5. Larsson G, Hallen B, Nilvebrant L "Tolterodine in the treatment of overactive bladder: Analysis of the pooled Phase II efficacy and safety data." Urology 53 (1999): 990-8

6. Millard R, Tuttle J, Moore K, Susset J, Clarke B, Dwyer P, Davis BE "Clinical efficacy and safety of tolterodine compared to placebo in detrusor overactivity." J Urol 161 (1999): 1551-5

7. Garely AD, Burrows L "Benefit-risk assessment of tolterodine in the treatment of overactive bladder in adults." Drug Saf 27 (2004): 1043-57

8. Guay DR "Tolterodine, a new antimuscarinic drug for treatment of bladder overactivity." Pharmacotherapy 19 (1999): 267-80

9. Scheife R, Takeda M "Central nervous system safety of anticholinergic drugs for the treatment of overactive bladder in the elderly." Clin Ther 27 (2005): 144-53

10. Tsao JW, Heilman KM "Transient memory impairment and hallucinations associated with tolterodine use." N Engl J Med 349 (2003): 2274-5

11. Nijman RJ, Borgstein NG, Ellsworth P, Djurhuus JC "Tolterodine treatment for children with symptoms of urinary urge incontinence suggestive of detrusor overactivity: results from 2 randomized, placebo controlled trials." J Urol 173 (2005): 1334-1339

12. Nilvebrant L, Hallen B, Larsson G "Tolterodine - A new bladder selective muscarinic recepor antagonist: preclinical pharmacological and clinical data." Life Sci 60 (1997): 1129-36

13. Schlienger RG, Keller MJ, Krahenbuhl S "Tolterodine-Associated Acute Mixed Liver Injury." Ann Pharmacother 36 (2002): 817-819

Not all side effects for Detrol LA may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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