Detrol is a medication that reduces and helps control bladder spasms. When the muscles of the bladder begin to spasm, or when the bladder becomes overactive, a number of problems can result, including frequent and uncontrollable urination. What happens when you take Detrol, however, is that this medication will stop your bladder from contracting, allowing you to urinate normally once again. Detrol belongs to a family of drugs called antimuscarinics.
You may not be allowed to take Detrol if you have a history of liver disease or kidney disease, or if you have glaucoma, Long QT Syndrome or a family history of Long QT Syndrome, or myasthenia gravis. You might have to stay away from this medication, or at least receive it in a lower dosage, if you have a urinary tract blockage, You also need to provide your doctor with a complete list of all the medications, including vitamins and herbal and dietary supplements, that you are taking, as there are many drugs that can react negatively to the presence of Detrol. You must not be allergic to tolterodine in order to take Detrol. Also, scientists have not been able to determine whether or not Detrol can harm a fetus, or pass through breast milk and do harm to a newborn baby, so you will have to consult with your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Detrol comes in two forms: the tablet and the extended-release capsule, also known as the long-acting capsule. You will most likely take the former twice a day and the latter only once a day, because its effects can last for so much longer. If you are taking the extended-release capsule, you’ll probably do so with a liquid. Either way, you must swallow each Detrol tablet or extended-release capsule whole. (This is especially important with the extended-release tablet.) If you take a broken or crushed Detrol capsule, the special release mechanism of this capsule will be destroyed, and your body may absorb more medication at one time than it will be able to handle. Make sure you take it at regular intervals, exactly as often as the prescription label on your medication container tells you to. Sometimes a doctor will change the amount of Detrol a patient is taking at some point during a course of treatment; be careful when this occurs because you may be in the habit of taking Detrol more often than you are supposed to now. Be aware also that this medication, like many medications, can often make you feel drowsy or even fatigued, can slow down you natural reaction time and can impede your cognitive functions. Therefore, you might not want to drive, or operate dangerous machinery, or do any other activity that requires you to be wide awake and alert in order for you to be safe. And if you do choose to drive, you should take extra caution the entire time you are behind the wheel.
Detrol may cause some side effects. These would include an upset stomach, headache, blurry vision, dry mouth or dry eyes, dizziness, pain in your joints, diarrhea, constipation and the drowsiness already discussed. In most cases, these side effects won’t be a big deal and won’t require any medical attention. On the other hand, you should go back to your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects: a rash, pain in your chest, a faster heart rate, confusion, hallucinations or any kind of problem urinating, including having no urine at all for an extended period of time. These side effects are not common, though, and should not be something to be overly worried about when you start taking this drug.