Oxybutynin (Absorbed through the skin)


Oxybutynin (ox-i-BUE-ti-nin)

Treats an overactive bladder.

Brand Name(s)

Oxytrol, Gelnique

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to oxybutynin, if you have uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma, or if you are unable to urinate or cannot empty your bladder. You should not use this medicine if you have gastric retention (food digests too slowly after a meal).

How to Use This Medicine

Gel/Jelly, Patch

  • Patch:
    • Your doctor will tell you how many patches to use, where to apply them, and how often to apply them. Do not use more patches or apply them more often than your doctor tells you to.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying a patch.
    • Leave the patch in its sealed wrapper until you are ready to put it on. Tear the wrapper open carefully. NEVER CUT the wrapper or the patch with scissors. Do not use any patch that has been cut by accident.
    • The patient instructions will show the body areas where you can wear the patch. When putting on each new patch, choose a different place within these areas. Do not put the new patch on the same place you wore the last one. Be sure to remove the old patch before applying a new one.
    • Do not put the patch over burns, cuts, or irritated skin.
    • Put on a new patch if the old one has fallen off and cannot be reapplied.
  • Gel:
    • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
    • This medicine is for use on the skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Do not use it on skin areas that have cuts or scrapes. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away. Do not apply it to the breasts or genital area.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
    • Before you apply this medicine, wash the application site (stomach, upper arms, shoulders, or thighs) with mild soap and water. Rinse well and pat dry.
    • Open and squeeze the entire contents of the gel packet into the palm of your hand or directly on the application site. Gently rub it until the gel dries.
    • Press the gel pump all the way down 3 times to dispense your dose. Dispense it into the palm of your hand or directly on the application site. Gently rub it until the gel dries.
    • Rotate application sites daily.
    • Do not bathe, swim, shower, or exercise for 1 hour after you apply this medicine.
    • Cover the application site with a dry cloth after the medicine has dried. Do this to avoid transferring oxybutynin to another person.
    • This medicine contains alcohol, which is flammable. Do not use this medicine near heat, open flame, or while smoking.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you forget to apply the gel or wear or change a patch, apply the gel or put the patch on as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to apply the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not apply extra gel or use an extra patch to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Fold the used patch in half with the sticky sides together. Throw any used patch away so that children or pets cannot get to it. You will also need to throw away old patches after the expiration date has passed.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a medicine that may irritate your stomach or esophagus, or a medicine to treat osteoporosis or other bone problems (such as alendronate, etidronate, risedronate, Actonel®, Didronel®, or Fosamax®). Tell your doctor if you are also using any other medicine to treat incontinence, or a medicine that can cause dry mouth or constipation (such as atropine, dicyclomine, glycopyrrolate, scopolamine, Bentyl®, Robinul®, or Transderm Scop®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, myasthenia gravis (a disease causing muscle weakness), narrow-angle glaucoma, trouble emptying your bladder, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or any kind of digestive problem (such as colitis or constipation).
  • This medicine may make you sweat less, which can cause your body temperature to increase. Use extra care when you exercise and during hot weather. Overheating may result in heat stroke.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Trouble urinating or painful urination
  • Unable to sweat or feeling overheated

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision, dry eyes, or eyes sensitive to light
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, or stomach pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Redness, rash, pain, itching, or irritation where you apply the medicine
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch)

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

Average rating (0)