What are Anticholinergics?


Anticholinergic drugs slow the activity of the stomach and intestinal tract, thus reducing the likelihood of cramping and also reducing acid secretion. This drug also decreases or completely stops contractions occurring in the bladder and the ability of the bladder to work to its optimum best is increased.

Anticholinergics often are sold under the names oxybutynin (Ditropan) and hyosyamine (Levsinex). Anticholinergics are best prescribed for youngsters who either the doctor has deemed as having a small capacity for the bladder to work or else children who due to bladder contractions throughout the daytime hours, suffer from incontinence.

Average Bladder Volumes

There is a beneficial formula that can be used to estimate what a normal or average volume in regards to the bladder is in kids. This formula is simply the childs age plus two and this will equal the ounces in urine.

Anticholinergics are not the best choice for children who wet their bed at night on an occasional basis but instead for those who wet the bed at night and those who have problems with wetting in the daytime (otherwise known as incontinence). In some cases there are children who fail to gain results from taking desmopressin acetate (DDAVP) in regards to bed wetting therefore their doctors decide to try them on a trial basis on both DDAVP and an anticholinergic.

DDAVP and Anticholinergics

The most common scenario for this is a child who has bladder capacity that is limited in regards to other children. The combination of these two drugs works for some kids and not others. The way the two drugs work in concert is that the DDAVP decreases the amount of urine that the child voids in the night while the anticholinergic increases the amount of urine that the bladder is able to hold. By working together, the two drugs help prevent nocturnal enuresis by disallowing the bladder to become too full throughout a childs sleeping hours.

For children who have daytime voiding problems and who are six years or older, the anticholinergic prescribed is usually oxybutynin (Ditropan XL) and it is to be taken once a day only. A

nother kind of anticholinergic known as hyoscamine is available as a capsule and it has a long acting capacity. Hyosyamine needs to be administered twice a day except for children who just have problems with isolated bed wetting and in that case it is taken only once a day, before bedtime.

Side Effects

Anticholinergics do have a few side effects that parents and their children must be aware of. Flushing of the face and dry mouth are the two most common symptoms. It is best to not spend too much time in the direct sunlight while taking this drug as it can cause facial flushing to be worse. In the unfortunate case of an overdose of an anticholinergic, hallucinations and blurred vision can result.

The most recent anticholinergic to appear on the market is called tolterodine (Detrol) and this one is believed to be the safest of them all as well as to exhibit the least possibility of side effects.

Detrol is more particular when it comes to how it goes to work on the functioning of the bladder. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to give its seal of approval for this medication to be used in children under the age of twelve years.