Each tablet contains 15 mg of propantheline.
It is usual to be prescribed one tablet to take three times during the day and two tablets to take at bedtime.
You should take propantheline when your stomach is empty - this means taking your doses at least an hour before meals or waiting until two hours afterwards.
Common side-effects include dry mouth and blurred vision.
|Type of medicine||An antimuscarinic antispasmodic|
|Used for||Relief of symptoms caused by gastrointestinal spasm; urinary frequency; sweating induced by eating and drinking|
Propantheline is an antispasmodic medicine. It is prescribed for a number of separate conditions. It is prescribed to relieve the spasm-type pain that can be associated with some intestinal disorders. It is also prescribed to help prevent wetting (enuresis) in adults who have a problem with this. It can also be prescribed for people who are troubled by sweating after eating and drinking. This is called gustatory sweating and can be associated with conditions like diabetes.
Propantheline works by relaxing a type of muscle, called smooth muscle, in your gastrointestinal and urinary systems. As a secondary effect, propantheline causes a dry skin. This makes it helpful for people with gustatory sweating.
Before taking propantheline
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 propantheline it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have prostate problems.
- If you have any problems with the way your liver works or with the way your kidneys work.
- If you have any other digestive system problems, such as reflux disease, diarrhoea, ulcerative colitis, or severe constipation.
- If you have high blood pressure, or if you have recently had a heart attack.
- If you have glaucoma. This is a condition where the pressure in your eyes is raised.
- If you have been told by a doctor that you have a fast heart rate.
- If you have Down's syndrome.
- If you are less than 12 years old or over 65 years old.
- If you have been told you have nerve damage, a condition called autonomic neuropathy.
- If you have a condition that causes muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis.
- 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.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take propantheline tablets
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about propantheline 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. It is usual to be prescribed one tablet to take three times during the day and two tablets to take at bedtime. Although this is the usual dose at the start of treatment, your doctor may later increase your dose up to a maximum of eight tablets a day.
- Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. You should take the tablets when your stomach is empty, which means taking your doses at least an hour before mealtimes, or waiting until two hours afterwards. This is because your body absorbs less propantheline when there is food in your stomach, which means the medicine is less effective.
- If you forget to take a dose, do not take two doses together to make up for the missed dose - just continue with the next dose when it is due.
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.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with propantheline. This is because propantheline can interfere with the way some other medicines are absorbed, and also a number of medicines that can commonly be bought can increase the risk of side-effects.
Can propantheline 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 propantheline. 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.
|Common propantheline side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Dry mouth and feeling thirsty||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets and drink plenty of water|
|Eyesight problems such as blurred vision and sensitivity to light||Make sure you can see clearly before you drive or use tools or machines|
|Constipation||Eat a well-balanced diet and drink several glasses of water every day|
|Feeling sleepy||Do not drive or use tools or machines until you feel more awake|
|Feeling flushed, dry skin, problems passing urine, heart rate changes||If troublesome, ask your doctor for advice|
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 propantheline
- 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.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
If you are due to have an operation, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
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, Pro-banthine® tablets; Archimedes Pharma UK Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated December 2013.
- British National Formulary; 67th Edition (March 2014) 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 Adrian Bonsall