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Tolterodine (Systemic)

Brand Names

In the U.S.-

  • Detrol
  • Detrol LA


  • Antispasmodic (urinary bladder)


Tolterodine (TOLE-tear-oh-deen) is used to treat bladder problems such as frequent need to urinate or loss of control of urinary function.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:

  • Tablets (U.S.)
  • Extended Release Capsules (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking tolterodine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For tolterodine, the following should be considered:

Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to tolterodine. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy- Tolterodine has not been shown to cause birth defects in humans. However, studies in animals have shown that tolterodine causes death of the embryo, a decrease in the weight of the fetus, and other problems in the fetus. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding- It is not known whether tolterodine passes into breast milk. However, tolterodine does pass into the milk of animals and has caused a short-term loss of weight of the offspring. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children- Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of tolterodine in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults- This medicine has been tested and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than is does in younger adults.

Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of tolterodine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
  • Glaucoma or
  • Stomach problems or
  • Urinary retention-Tolterodine may make these conditions worse
  • Liver problems-A lower dose of tolterodine may be necessary
  • Kidney problems-A lower dose of tolterodine may be necessary

Proper Use of This Medicine

Take this medicine only as directed. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects. The extended release capsules should be taken with liquids and swallowed whole.


The dose of tolterodine 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 tolterodine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • To treat bladder problems:
      • Adults-1 to 2 milligrams (mg) two times a day. Your doctor may change your dose.
      • Children-Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For oral dosage form (extended release capsules):
    • To treat bladder problems:
      • Adults-4 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may change your dose.
      • Children-Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose-

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Keep the medicine from freezing. Do not refrigerate.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

This medicine may cause some people to have vision problems. Make sure your vision is clear before you drive or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not able to see well.

This medicine, especially in high doses, may cause some people to become dizzy or drowsy. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert.

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.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • More common
    • Abnormal vision, including difficulty adjusting to distances ;  bloody or cloudy urine;  difficult, burning, or painful urination;  frequent urge to urinate 

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

  • More common
    • Abdominal pain;  chest pain;  constipation;  diarrhea;  dizziness;  drowsiness;  dry eyes;  dry mouth;  fatigue;  headache;  joint pain;  nausea;  upset stomach  

  • Less common
    • Difficult urination 

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT