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Bethanechol

Brand Name: Urecholine

Generic Name: Bethanechol

Drug Class: Cholinergics, Genitourinary

What Is Bethanechol and How Does It Work?

Bethanechol is used to treat certain bladder problems such as the inability to urinate or empty the bladder completely due to certain causes (e.g., surgery, bladder muscle problems). It works by helping the bladder muscle to squeeze better, thereby improving your ability to urinate.

Bethanechol may also be used to treat heartburn. It works by helping the stomach muscles move food down out of the stomach faster and by increasing the strength of the muscle between the esophagus and stomach (lower esophageal sphincter). This helps prevent food/acid in the stomach from rising back into the esophagus.

Bethanechol is available under the following different brand names: Urecholine.

Dosages of Bethanechol:

Adult and Pediatric Dosage Forms and Strengths

Tablet

  • 5 mg
  • 10 mg
  • 25 mg
  • 50 mg

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Urinary Retention

Adult:

  • 10-50 mg orally three/four times daily
  • Some patients may require doses of 50-100 mg orally twice daily
  • Take 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals

Pediatric (off-label):

  • 0.3-0.6 mg/kg/day orally divided three/four times daily
  • Take 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals

GERD (Off-label)

Adult:

  • 25 mg orally four times daily
  • Take 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals

Pediatric:

  • 0.3-0.6 mg/kg/day orally divided four times daily
  • Take 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals

SLIDESHOW

Urinary Incontinence in Women: Types, Causes, and Treatments for Bladder Control See Slideshow

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Bethanechol?

Common side effects of bethanechol include:

Serious side effects of bethanechol include:

  • Fainting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

    What Other Drugs Interact with Bethanechol?

    If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

    Bethanechol has no known severe interactions with other drugs.

    Serious interactions of bethanechol include:

    Bethanechol has moderate interactions with at least 74 different drugs.

    Mild interactions of bethanechol include:

    This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns or for more information about this medicine.

    What Are Warnings and Precautions for Bethanechol?

    Warnings

    This medication contains bethanechol. Do not take Urecholine if you are allergic to bethanechol or any ingredients contained in this drug.

    Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.

    Contraindications

    Effects of Drug Abuse

    • None

    Short-Term Effects

    • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Bethanechol?"

    Long-Term Effects

    • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Bethanechol?"

    Cautions

    Pregnancy and Lactation

    • Use bethanechol during pregnancy with caution if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available or neither animal nor human studies were done.
    • It is not known whether bethanechol is excreted in milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions from bethanechol chloride in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
    References
    Medscape. Bethanechol.
    https://reference.medscape.com/drug/urecholine-bethanechol-343056
    RxList. Bethanechol Chloride Side Effects Drug Center.
    https://www.rxlist.com/bethanechol-chloride-side-effects-drug-center.htm
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