Detrol is used for improving common symptoms of an overactive bladder. By causing the muscles of the bladder to relax, the medication can help prevent leaking accidents, frequent urination, and sudden or frequent urges to urinate. There are currently no universally accepted off-label Detrol uses, and the drug is not approved for use in children.
Detrol® (tolterodine tartrate) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of overactive bladder symptoms. It belongs to a group of medications known as anticholinergics or antimuscarinics.
An overactive bladder is caused by bladder muscle contractions that are too frequent and, often, uncontrollable. Normally, the bladder slowly fills 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 bladder muscles contract spastically and frequently. This causes the following symptoms:
- Frequent urination (needing to go more than eight times in 24 hours)
- Sudden, frequent urges to urinate
- Leaking accidents (known as urinary incontinence or urge incontinence).
Sometimes, an overactive bladder is caused by other medical problems, such as an enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). In these cases, it is usually best to treat the underlying problem instead of using Detrol. The medication is not approved for other types of bladder problems.
Detrol works by binding to specific receptors in the bladder, called muscarinic receptors, which allows the muscles of the bladder to relax. Since an overactive bladder is often due to bladder muscle contractions that are too frequent and uncontrollable, Detrol can help relieve many of the related symptoms.