This medication 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.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug 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.
Take this medication by mouth on an empty stomach (1 hour before or 2 hours after meals), usually 3 to 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. Taking this medication on an empty stomach will help reduce nausea/vomiting.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps/pain, diarrhea, increased saliva/urination, sweating, flushing, watery eyes, or headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fainting, fast heartbeat, severe abdominal pain.
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: trouble breathing.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking bethanechol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: recent stomach/intestinal/bladder surgery, stomach/intestinal problems (e.g., ulcers, blockage, spasms), peritonitis, blockage of the bladder, a certain nerve problem (vagotonia), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), lung disease (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), heart problems (e.g., coronary artery disease, slow heartbeat), seizures, Parkinson's disease, blood pressure problems.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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 or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: medications for high blood pressure (e.g., mecamylamine).
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including amylase/lipase levels), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: stomach/abdominal pain, flushing, increased saliva, sweating, nausea, vomiting.
Do not share this medication with others.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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