What Is the OTC Oxybutynin Patch Used For?

If you have an overactive bladder, you may consider a medication called OTC oxybutynin patch. It is used in women who are at least 18 years old and works by binding to certain receptors in the bladder, which helps to control bladder muscles. Although this nonprescription patch is approved for women, it can be used off-label to treat an overactive bladder in men.

An Overview of Uses for OTC Oxybutynin Patch

OTC oxybutynin patch (Oxytrol® For Women) is a nonprescription bladder medication approved for treating the symptoms of an overactive bladder in adult women. This product belongs to a group of medications known as anticholinergics or antimuscarinics. It is the first and only overactive bladder medication available without a prescription.

Understanding What Happens With an Overactive Bladder

An overactive bladder is caused by contractions of the bladder muscle that are too frequent and usually uncontrollable. Normally, the bladder fills slowly until nerve signals tell your brain that the bladder is full and you need to use the bathroom. Then the bladder muscles contract when you urinate. However, in some people, the muscles contract frequently and spastically. This causes the following overactive bladder symptoms:
  • Sudden, frequent urges to urinate (known as urinary urgency)
  • A frequent need to urinate (usually defined as needing to go more than eight times in 24 hours)
  • Leaking accidents (known as urinary incontinence or urge incontinence).
You might have an overactive bladder if you have had two or more of the three main symptoms for at least three months.
The medication is not approved for other types of bladder problems, such as incontinence from laughing, coughing, or sneezing (this is known as stress incontinence). In fact, OTC oxybutynin patches may actually make some other types of bladder problems worse. If you are not sure if you have an overactive bladder or a different condition, check with your healthcare provider first.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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