What is bethanechol?
Bethanechol stimulates your bladder to empty.
Bethanechol is used to treat urinary retention (difficulty urinating), which may occur after surgery, after delivering a baby, and in other situations.
Bethanechol may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you
- have uncontrolled hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid);
- have stomach ulcers;
- have asthma;
- have recently had bladder or intestinal surgery;
- have a blockage in your intestinal tract;
- have a slow heart rate or low blood pressure;
- have a disease or blockage of the arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease);
- have epilepsy or any other seizure disorder; or
- have Parkinson's disease.
You may not be able to take bethanechol, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Bethanechol is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether bethanechol will harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.
It is not known whether bethanechol passes into breast milk. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Bethanechol may cause dizziness or fainting, especially when you rise from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly to avoid becoming dizzy, falling, or hurting yourself.
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Bethanechol may cause dizziness. If you experience dizziness, avoid these activities.
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Seek emergency medical attention.
Symptoms of a bethanechol overdose include abdominal discomfort, increased salivation or watering mouth, flushing or hot feeling of the skin, sweating, nausea, and vomiting.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
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If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking bethanechol and seek emergency medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or
- shortness of breath, wheezing, or tightness in your chest.
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take bethanechol and talk to your doctor if you experience
- dizziness or drowsiness;
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal discomfort;
- slow heartbeats followed by fast heartbeats;
- flushing or warmth about the face;
- sweating; or
- tearing eyes.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking bethanechol, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- donepezil (Aricept);
- tacrine (Cognex);
- quinidine (Cardioquin, others); or
- procainamide (Pronestyl, Procan SR).
You may not be able to take bethanechol, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.
Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with bethanechol. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking or using any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
Duvoid, Urecholine, and bethanechol
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