Bethanechol, also known and sold under the trade name of Urecholine, is a product which is used in the treatment of bladder problems, such as the inability to urinate or empty the bladder completely due to different causes – e.g. surgery, or bladder muscle problems.
It is considered to work by helping the bladder muscle to squeeze and that way it helps the ability to urinate to improve. It is available in the forms of a tablet, elixir, and a solution.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before using Urecholine, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. This is a decision that you and your doctor, together, will have to make.
During the consultations with your doctor, it is important to inform the doctor about:
Allergies – Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind od medications, prescribed or no prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reactions to any specific kind of food, dye, fabric and etc.
Pediatric – Although there are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in pediatric patients, it is not considered that would cause any age-connected problems when used. However, extra caution during the treatment is required.
Geriatric – Although there are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in geriatric patients, it is not considered that would cause any age-connected problems when used. However, extra caution during the treatment is required.
Pregnancy – Inform te doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. There are no studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy. It is unknown how would it affect the infant. Because of this, it should be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Breastfeeding – Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this product to be used by nursing mothers. It is unknown if it is extracted in the milk, or how would it affect the infant. Because of this, it should be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Drug interactions – Inform the doctor if you are currently using any other medications, prescribed or no prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because certain medications should not be used in a combination with other, because of the possibility that certain interactions could occur.
However, sometimes the doctor may decide to use a certain type of a combination including two or more medications, in order to treat your condition, if he or she considers that combination to prove as beneficial regarding your condition.
Other interactions – Certain medications should not be used in a combination with specific type of food, tobacco, and alcohol. Because of this, it is important to get informed if there is a need for you to follow a specific type of diet and discontinue your use of tobacco and/or alcohol during the treatment.
Other medical problems – Inform the doctor about your medical history, any other medical problems and conditions from the past or at the moment.
Especially, inform the doctor if there are any of the following conditions present:
To use Urecholine properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. The oral and the subcutaneous route will be explained in the following.
For the oral route – Take this medication on an empty stomach, with water. This way you will decrease the possibility of nausea and vomiting. Do not chew, break or crush the tablet.
For subcutaneous route – This medication can be applied by the doctor or the healthcare professional at the hospital, but you could be trained as well, to apply the medication yourself at home.
For the subcutaneous route, it is used the solution form of this medication and it is applied while using a needle. The dose is individual for every patient, prescribed by the doctor and based on your weight, condition and the prognosis of the treatment.
The usual dose is one tablet, three to four times a day, or one injection, three to four times a day. Use it regularly in order to get the most beneficial effects from its use. If you forget to use this medication, use it as soon as you remember.
Do not double to catch up. But, if the time for the next dose is near, wait and take the next dose. If an overdose is suspected, contact the doctor right away.
4 Precautions to Take
Before using Urecholine, there are some precautions you must take. Visit your doctor at your scheduled appointments so that he or she would be able to track your condition and make any adjustments if necessary.
These adjustments may refer to the dose – e.g. the doctor may decide to increase or decrease the dose, or to the treatment itself – the doctor may decide to discontinue the treatment if there are any serious side effects present, or if your condition does not improve or worsens.
Inform the doctor about baby allergic reactions to any kind of medication, prescribed or no prescribed. This is important because this medication could contain inactive substances, that could cause certain interactions to occur.
Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant. The doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy.
If you have any plans about pregnancy in the near future, the doctor will probably advise you to start using a proven form of birth control to help prevent pregnancy during the treatment. Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding.
The doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in nursing mothers. This product may cause dizziness to occur. Avoid driving or any other activities that require alertness.
5 Potential Side Effects
As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Urecholine. These side effects do not occur in all patients, and it could be also mild or more serious.
However, it is important to get informed about the potential side effects so that you would be able to notice their presence and inform the doctor as soon as possible.
Based on the present side effects, the doctor may decide to discontinue the treatment – if any serious side effects are present, or make adjustments to the dose.
Common side effects – Dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal/stomach pain/cramps, diarrhea, increased saliva/urination, sweating, or a headache. These are common side effects which are not considered to be serious. But, if they persist or worsen, inform the doctor as soon as possible.
Serious side effects – fainting, fast heartbeat, or severe abdominal pain. Notify the doctor right away if these side effects occur.
A very serious allergic reaction to this medication is very rare, but if you notice any of the following symptoms, inform the doctor as soon as possible – skin rash, itching/swelling of the hands/feet/face/tongue, trouble breathing, or severe dizziness.
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