Take one tablet three times a day. Your doctor will tell you for how long you should take the tablets.
Flavoxate side-effects tend to be mild. If you feel dizzy or sleepy, do not drive or use tools or machines while affected.
|Type of medicine||A urinary antimuscarinic antispasmodic medicine|
|Used for||Bladder spasms; discomfort when passing urine; urinary frequency, urgency and incontinence|
|Also called||Urispas 200®|
Flavoxate is prescribed to treat urinary symptoms such as urgency, frequency and incontinence. Urinary urgency occurs when you have a sudden and urgent need to pass urine. If you need to take more trips to the toilet than normal, this is called urinary frequency. If you leak urine before you go to the toilet, this is called incontinence.
These symptoms can cause you distress as well as being a hygiene problem. There are several causes of urinary incontinence, including weakened pelvic floor muscles and problems causing your bladder muscles to go into spasm as a result of a medical procedure.
Flavoxate works by stopping sudden bladder muscle contractions and increasing the volume of urine that your bladder can hold. This helps to control urinary symptoms and eases any pain or discomfort.
Before taking flavoxate
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking flavoxate it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have a heart condition, such as an unusual heart rhythm, problems with the blood vessels in your heart, or heart failure.
- If you have any problems with your prostate gland.
- If you have any of the following conditions: increased pressure in your eye (glaucoma); hiatus hernia; an overactive thyroid; high blood pressure; a condition causing muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis.
- If you have a condition which could cause a blockage in your stomach, bowel or urinary tract, or if you have noticed any blood in your stools.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take flavoxate
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about flavoxate and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Take the tablets exactly as your doctor tells you to. The usual dose is one tablet three times a day.
- Try to take the tablets at the same times of day each day, as this will help you to remember to take your doses regularly. You can take flavoxate either before or after meals. Swallow the tablet whole with a drink of water.
- If you forget to take a dose at your usual time, take it as soon as you remember. Try to take the correct number of doses each day but do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress and review your treatment.
- Drinks containing caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cola) may make your symptoms worse. This is because caffeine increases urine flow (it is a natural diuretic) and will make you want to pass urine. If you drink a lot of caffeine-containing drinks, consider switching to decaffeinated alternatives.
- Try to maintain a normal life as much as possible with regard to drinking and visiting the toilet. However, drinking late at night may mean your sleep is disturbed by the desire to get up and go to the toilet, so you may want to avoid drinking too much during the evening.
- Your doctor may suggest that you do some pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles around the underside of your bladder. These can help to improve your symptoms.
- If you buy any medicines or herbal remedies, always check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with flavoxate. Some medicines (particularly antihistamines) can increase the chance that you will experience unwanted effects such as a dry mouth and feeling sleepy.
Can flavoxate cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the common ones associated with flavoxate. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Flavoxate hydrochloride side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling dizzy or sleepy, blurred vision||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Feeling sick, indigestion||Eat simple meals - avoid rich or spicy foods|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Feeling confused or nervous, a fast heartbeat, skin rash, pain when passing urine, difficulty swallowing||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, please speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store flavoxate
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Urispas® 200 mg Film-coated Tablets; Recordati Pharmaceuticals Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated June 2010.
- British National Formulary; 69th Edition (Mar 2015) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr John Cox