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Bethanechol (By mouth)

Bethanechol (be-THAN-e-kol)

Treats urinary or bladder problems. Helps empty the bladder and increases urination.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an unusual or allergic reaction to bethanechol.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Take this medicine exactly as your doctor ordered.
  • Take on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals to avoid nausea and vomiting (unless your doctor tells you differently).

If a dose is missed:

  • If you are less than 1 hour late taking your medicine, take the missed dose as soon as you remember.
  • Skip the missed dose if it is more than 2 hours past your normal dosing time and return to your regular dosing schedule.
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Check with your doctor before taking if you have asthma, epilepsy (seizures), heart or thyroid disease, Parkinson's disease, blood pressure problems (high or low), intestinal or urinary blockages, or stomach disorders.
  • Talk with your doctor before use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Bethanechol can make you dizzy or drowsy. Be careful if you drive a car or operate machinery.
  • To avoid dizziness from this medicine, stand up slowly from a sitting or lying position.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Seizures

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Vision changes
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or drowsiness
  • Stomach cramps or colicky pain
  • Gas, belching, or diarrhea
  • Urge to urinate often

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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