Phone

Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Difficulty breathing, wheezing, severe or persistent abdominal cramps, diarrhea. Call your doctor at once.
Common

Dizziness or lightheadedness. This can be minimized by getting up slowly from a sitting or lying position.
Less Common

Headache, blurred vision, nausea, stomach discomfort, excessive urge to urinate.
Bethanechol Chloride


Drug Class:
Cholinergic

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: Yes

Generic 5 mg
(Sidmak)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Tablets, injection

Why Prescribed
To treat bladder or urinary tract disorders that make urination difficult. To help initiate urination after surgery.

How It Works
Bethanechol strengthens the ability of bladder muscles to contract, facilitating urination.

Range and Frequency
Tablets-- Adults: 10 to 50 mg, 3 or 4 times a day. Children: 0.6 mg per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) of body weight, in 3 to 4 doses a day. Injection-- Adults: 2.5 to 5 mg injected under the skin 3 or 4 times a day. Children: 0.2 mg per 2.2 lbs of body weight per day, injected 3 to 4 times a day, as determined by your pediatrician.

Onset of Effect
30 to 90 minutes.

Duration of Action
Up to 6 hours.

Dietary Advice
Take this medicine on an empty stomach with liquid 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals to avoid nausea and vomiting.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light.

Missed Dose
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
It may not be necessary to take this drug for the entire prescribed course of treatment. Follow your doctor's instructions about discontinuing the medicine.

Prolonged Use
No problems expected.

Over 60
Adverse reactions and side effects may be more severe in older persons.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Determine if the drug causes dizziness, lightheadedness or blurred vision before driving or doing hazardous work. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take a medicine that affects alertness, such as an antihistamine, a tranquilizer, a pain medicine, a sedative, or a narcotic.

Alcohol
Alcohol intake should be limited to 1 or 2 drinks a day because it can add to the diminished alertness caused by this medicine. Consult your doctor about the exact amount of alcohol you can consume.

Pregnancy
Animal and human studies have not been done. Consult your doctor about taking bethanechol if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Breast Feeding
It is not known whether bethanechol passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor about taking it if you are nursing.

Infants and Children
Use of bethanechol by infants and children requires close medical supervision.

Special Concerns
Bethanechol interferes with diagnostic laboratory studies of pancreas and liver function. While undergoing treatment with this drug, be cautious when standing up suddenly, as dizziness and lightheadedness are common side effects.

Overdose Symptoms
Abdominal discomfort, salivation, flushing of the skin, sweating, nausea, vomiting.

What to Do
Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor if you are taking bethanechol at the same time that you are taking any prescription or nonprescription drugs, especially anticholinergics, ganglionic blockers, nitrates, procainamide, quinidine, or other cholinergic drugs.

Food Interactions
None expected.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor if you have low blood pressure, any blood vessel problem, a weakened bladder wall, any urinary tract problem, any digestive problem, an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), asthma, seizures, or Parkinson's disease.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
Previous  |  Next
> Printer-friendly Version