Drugs for Bladder Spasms

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas describes bladder spasms as the random contractions of the bladder muscles causing the urgent need to urinate. If urination does not occur, the contractions strengthen and an involuntary release of urine, or incontinence, occurs. Bladder spasms have a variety of names including irritable bladder, overactive bladder, unstable bladder, spasmodic bladder, and detrusor instability. Various drugs are available to help the bladder relax and retain urine.

A male pharmacist gives medication to a female customer. (Image: Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images)


Detrol contains tolterodine, which encourages the bladder to retain urine by keeping the detrusor muscle of the bladder from contracting and pushing the urine out. Detrol is contraindicated in patients with urinary retention, gastric retention, or uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma. Side-effects are commonly dry mouth, abdominal pain, constipation and headache.


Ditropan, or oxybutynin chloride, is an antispasmodic that works on the smooth muscles of the bladder, increasing bladder capacity and decreasing the contractions of the bladder's detrusor muscle. This delays the need to urinate. It effectively treats urge urinary incontinence, urgency, and frequency. It should not be used in patients with urinary retention, severely decreased gastrointestinal motility conditions or myasthenia gravis, and with caution in cases of hepatic or renal impairment. Common side effects include dry mouth, diarrhea, nausea and constipation.


Enablex, or darifenacin, is used to treat overactive bladder with symptoms of urgency, urge urinary incontinence and increased urinary frequency. It is not recommended for patients with narrow-angled glaucoma or urinary or gastric retention. Heat prostration due to decreased perspiration is possible if this drug is used in a hot environment. Dry mouth, constipation and urinary tract infection are the most commonly reported side effects.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.