Bethanechol review

Bethanechol is a parasympathomimetic choline ester, a drug that has a stimulating effect on muscarinic receptors which are responsible for the contraction of the smooth muscle tone. It is usually indicated for patients who have recently had abdominal surgery, given birth, or who suffer from urinary retention to help them empty their bladder.

Bethanechol is also recommended for oral or subcutaneous (under the skin) administration to ease urinary retention caused by general anesthesia in surgery, diabetic neuropathy of the bladder (a diabetes complication that causes nerve damage), in the management of gastrointestinal atony (lack of gastric muscular tone), and bladder overdistention (the bladder retains an abnormal amount of residual urine).

In general, Bethanechol is used to treat urination problems caused by a malfunction of the bladder’s nerves or weak bladder muscles, as long as there has been no prior diagnosis of urinary blockage. It is also indicated for digestive problems like gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn).

Bethanechol stimulates the muscarinic receptors in the bladder and gastrointestinal tract, causing them to contract and expel urine, as well as improve gastrointestinal motility, increase gastric tone and bring back peristalsis, the regular contraction of smooth muscles which moves the contents of the digestive tract onward.

Before taking Bethanechol, patients should tell their doctor if they suffer from stomach ulcers, uncontrolled hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), asthma, recent bladder or intestinal surgery, intestinal blockage or bowel disease, slow heart rate or low blood pressure, coronary artery disease, difficult urination, Parkinson's disease, or any kind of seizure disorder like epilepsy. Patients with these conditions are advised not to take Bethanechol, or if necessary, have their doctor prescribe a lower dose and monitor them constantly during the course of treatment.

Patients should also inform their doctor if they have any allergic reactions to bethanechol, tartrazine dye, food preservatives or any other medicines. Female patients should also let their doctor know if they are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Bethanechol has been categorized by the FDA as pregnancy category C, and it is yet unknown if the drug has the potential to harm an unborn baby. Breastfeeding mothers should likewise talk to their doctors first before taking Bethanechol.

Other drugs may also react adversely with Bethanechol. Patients taking quinidine, donezipil, tacrine, procainamide, cholinesterase inhibitors, ganglionic blocking compounds, and drugs used for colds or nasal congestion may experience negative reactions when taking them with Bethanechol. In all other cases, patients should give their doctor a list of all the prescription and non-prescription medications they are taking, including vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements.

Bethanechol can cause drowsiness, and patients on medication should refrain from driving or operating any kind of machinery. Alcoholic beverages can also contribute to the dizziness caused by the drug. Bethanechol may also affect some blood tests, and patients should inform their doctor that they are on medication before undergoing any blood testing.

Bethanechol may result in side effects which include stomach upsets, increased salivation, nausea, vomiting, sweating or flushing. If the patient experiences shortness of breath, a slow heart rate, hypotension (low blood pressure), bronchial spasms or fainting, they should call their doctor immediately. If there are extreme allergic reactions like swelling of the lips, tongue or face, hives, closing of the throat, wheezing and a tightness in the chest, the patient should seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Bethanecol is a generic drug that is distributed under the brand names Duvoid by Roberts, Myotonachol by Glenwood, and Urecholine by Merck Frosst, which manufactures the drug in 5mg round white tablets, 10mg round pink tablets, 25mg round yellow tablets and 50mg round yellow tablets.

Dosage of the drug depends on each individual condition and the type of illness being treated. Patients are advised to take the drug orally on an empty stomach with plenty of fluids, based on the dosage prescribed by their doctor.

Bethanechol has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of bethanechol

• Molecular formula of bethanechol is C7H17N2O2+
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 2-carbamoyloxypropyl-trimethylazanium
• Molecular weight is 161.2221 g/mol
Bethanechol available : 5mg tablets, 10mg tablets, 25mg tablets, 50mg tablets

Brand name(s): Besacholine, Duvoid, Mechotane, Mechothane, Mecothane, Mictone, Mictrol, Myocholine, Myotonachol, Myotonine chloride, Urabeth, Urecholine, Urecholine Chloride, Uro-Carb

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