Oxytrol (Oxybutynin) - Transdermal

What Is Oxytrol?

Oxytrol (oxybutynin) is a transdermal patch used to treat an overactive bladder. It belongs to a drug class known as antispasmodics. Oxybutynin is an anticholinergic drug.

It works by blocking the actions of a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) on the muscle. It relaxes the bladder muscle, improves its capacity, reduces bladder spasms, and reduces urination urge and frequency. Oxytrol is available both with a prescription and over-the-counter (OTC).

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Oxybutynin

Brand Name(s): Oxytrol

Drug Availability: Prescription, Over-the-counter

Therapeutic Classification: Antispasmodic agent, Urinary

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: N/A

Administration Route: Transdermally

Active Ingredient: Oxybutynin

Dosage Form(s): Patch

What Is Oxytrol Used For?

Oxytrol is used to treat overactive bladder (urinary urgency with or without incontinence). This condition can significantly affect your quality of life. Oxybutynin relieves symptoms like:

  • Dysuria (discomfort or burning when urinating)
  • Urinary leakage
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urinary urgency and frequency
Oxytrol (Oxybutynin) Drug Information: A woman's bladder and areas around it

Verywell / Zoe Hansen

How to Take Oxytrol 

Apply one patch to dry, clean skin twice a week (every three to four days). Apply to fold-free smooth skin, like your hips, stomach, or buttocks. Apply your patch on the same two days every week, alternating application sites. If using the over-the-counter patch, change it every four days. Do not apply to the same spot more than once every seven days. Do not cut the patch.

Do not apply this patch on skin treated with lotion, powders, or oils. Do not apply to broken or irritated skin (like scratches or rashes). Keep the patch hidden under your clothes and out of direct sunlight.

This patch may contain conducting metal (like aluminum). Remove your patch before MRI scans.

Storage

Store the patch at room temperature, away from moisture. Once removed from its pouch, apply the patch immediately. Do not store it outside its pouch. Toss all expired patches to prevent pets and children from accidentally touching or ingesting them. Ask your pharmacist about the best ways to dispose of your medicine.

Off-Label Use

Oxytrol is used off-label to treat primary focal hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating in the forehead) usually not due to drug side effects or health conditions.

How Long Does Oxytrol Take to Work?

Once you apply the patch, it takes 24 to 48 hours for Oxytrol to peak in your system.

What Are the Side Effects of Oxytrol?

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Many people notice no negative side effects at all from taking Oxytrol. However, some people do experience problems while taking the medication.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Oxytrol include but are not limited to:

  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Loss of energy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Application site irritation, itching, or redness

Severe Side Effects

Oxytrol can cause many side effects. Some may be life-threatening. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you have a medical emergency. Severe side effects include:

While on Oxytrol, watch out for the possibility of exertional heat illness, which may happen due to working hard in hot environments.

Oxytrol may worsen or aggravate the symptoms of certain health conditions. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have:

  • Liver issues
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Dementia
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Parkinson disease
  • Kidney issues
  • Coronary artery disease (like heart failure, high blood pressure)
  • Gastrointestinal motility issues (like ulcerative colitis)
  • Angle-closure glaucoma (contraindicated with uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma)

Report Side Effects

Oxytrol may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much of Oxytrol Should I Use?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For bladder problems:
    • For transdermal dosage form (gel):
      • Adults—
        • Anturol™: 84 milligrams (mg) or 3 pumps of gel applied on dry, intact skin once a day.
        • Gelnique®: Apply one packet or one pump of the gel on dry, intact skin once a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For transdermal dosage form (skin patch):
      • Adults—Apply one patch two times per week, which is one patch every 3 to 4 days.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Modifications

Pregnancy and breastfeeding: It's not known if Oxytrol is safe in pregnant people or if it's present in breast milk. Consult your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Children: Oxytrol may cause harm to children, including seizures and kidney failure.

Adults over 65: Although the patch may cause fewer side effects, people over 65 may experience memory problems while taking this medicine. Speak with your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

Missed Dose

Apply the missed patch once you think of it after taking off the old one. Then, return to your regular routine. Do not apply extra patches or more than one patch at a time

Overdose: What Happens If I Use Too Much Oxytrol?

Potential symptoms of an overdose include blurred vision, severe dizziness, and dry mouth.

What Happens If I Overdose on Oxytrol?

Call your healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center immediately if you think you or someone else may have ingested or overdosed on Oxytrol. 

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Oxytrol, call 911 immediately.

Precautions

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it.

This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called angioedema, which may be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Check with your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, a large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs, trouble with breathing, or chest tightness while you are using this medicine.

This medicine may make you sweat less, causing your body temperature to increase. Use extra care not to become overheated during exercise or hot weather while you are using this medicine, since overheating may result in heat stroke.

This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, drowsy, or have blurred vision. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.

This medicine may cause dryness of the mouth, nose, and throat. For temporary relief of mouth dryness, use sugarless candy or gum, melt bits of ice in your mouth, or use a saliva substitute. However, if your mouth continues to feel dry for more than 2 weeks, check with your medical doctor or dentist. Continuing dryness of the mouth may increase the chance of dental disease, including tooth decay, gum disease, and fungus infections.

Avoid drinking alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Do not use cosmetics or other skin care products on the treated skin areas. However, you may use this medicine with a sunscreen.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn't Take Oxytrol? 

Avoid taking Oxytrol if you have:

  • Hypersensitivity to oxybutynin or any of its ingredients
  • Uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma (high blood pressure in the eye)
  • Urinary retention issues (inability to empty your bladder)
  • Gastric retention or decreased gastrointestinal (GI) motility (slow emptying of the stomach)

What Other Medications Interact With Oxytrol?

Certain medications interact with Oxytrol and increase the risk of side effects, including anticholinergic side effects like dry mouth. Some of the drugs to avoid are:

Other anticholinergics like:

  • Cogentin (benztropine mesylate)

Antimycotic agents like:

  • Sporanox (itraconazole)
  • Oravig (miconazole)

Macrolide antibiotics like:

Also, talk with your healthcare provider about any other medicines you take or plan to take, including OTC, nonprescription products, vitamins, herbs, or plant-based medicines.

What Medications Are Similar?

Other drugs similar to Oxytrol that are used to treat overactive bladder include:

This list is a list of drugs also prescribed to treat overactive bladder. It is NOT a list of medicines recommended to take with Oxytrol. You should not take these drugs together unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Ask your pharmacist or a healthcare provider if you have questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Oxytrol used to treat?

    Oxytrol is used to treat an overactive bladder.

  • What are the common side effects of Oxytrol?

    Some common side effects include:

    • Dry mouth
    • Anxiety
    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea
    • Loss of energy
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Blurred vision
    • Constipation
    • Application site irritation, itching, or redness
  • Where should I store Oxytrol?

    Store the patch at room temperature away from moisture.

  • Can I cut my Oxytrol patch?

    No. Apply the patch to your skin without cutting it.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Oxytrol?

    Apply the missed dose once you think of it. Return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use extra patches or double the amount.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Oxytrol?

Living with an overactive bladder can be managed by using Oxytrol. Although the Oxytrol patch has lesser side effects than its other dosage forms, it may still cause side effects like constipation and dry mouth. It may increase the likelihood of having exertional heat illness (becoming severely overheated following activity). Take caution when working hard in a hot environment. 

Oxytrol may affect some of your lab results, like allergy skin tests. Tell your healthcare providers about all the medicines you use so that they can have a more accurate understanding of your health status.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Food and Drug Administration. Oxytrol label.

  2. Glaser DA, Glaser K. Use of systemic therapies to manage focal hyperhidrosisMo Med. 2015;112(4):287-291.

By Queen Buyalos, PharmD
Queen Buyalos is a pharmacist and freelance medical writer. She takes pride in advocating for cancer prevention, overall health, and mental health education. Queen enjoys counseling and educating patients about drug therapy and translating complex ideas into simple language.