What Is VESIcare (Solifenacin)?
VESIcare is the brand name of solifenacin, a prescription medicine used to treat overactive bladder (OAB).
OAB includes symptoms such as a strong need to urinate, incontinence (leaking or wetting accidents), and urinating too frequently.
VESicare, which belongs to a class of drugs known as bladder antispasmodics, works by relaxing the muscles in the bladder, which increases your ability to control urination. It also decreases the feelings of needing to urinate right away.
A study by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed VESIcare controlled OAB syndrome for 24 hours in most patients. VESicare is sold in pill form and is manufactured by Astellas Pharma. It was given FDA approval in 2004.
In 2012 the FDA added a warning to the VESIcare label, letting patients know this drug can affect the central nervous system. Symptoms of this include headache, confusion, hallucinations, and drowsiness.
The FDA recommends that doctors monitor for these symptoms and adjust dosage or stop medication if these problems occur.
It is not known if VESIcare is safe for children.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, confusion, constipation, or trouble urinating.
Before taking VESIcare you should talk to your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
- Uncontrolled or poorly controlled closed-angle glaucoma
- Difficulty urinating
- Severe liver disease
- Kidney disease
- QT prolongation, a rare heart problem
Pregnancy and VESIcare
There have been no adequate studies of the effects of VESIcare on pregnant women. Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider about whether the benefits of this drug outweigh the potential risks. You should also consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
VESIcare Side Effects
Common Side Effects of VESIcare:
Check with your doctor immediately if you experience these less common side effects:
- Bladder pain
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Decrease in urine frequency or volume
- Difficult, painful, or burning sensations during urination
- Difficulty passing urine
- Fatigue (severe)
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Swelling in the lower legs
Seek emergency medical attention if you develop the following signs of an allergic reaction:
- Skin rash or swelling
- Severe itching
- Swelling of your face, mouth, or tongue
- Trouble breathing
VESIcare and Other Drug Interactions
VESIcare has many drug interactions. You should always tell your health care professional about all prescription, non-prescription, over-the-counter (OTC), illegal and recreational drugs, herbal remedies, nutritional and dietary supplements and any other drugs and treatments.
Some of the drug interaction categories are listed below.
VESIcare can have a severe interaction with:
- Selected antimuscarinics
- Strong CYP3A4 agents
- Pramlintide (Symlin)
- Drugs that prolong QT interval
VESIcare can have a serious interaction with:
- Solid oral potassium capsules or tablets
VESIcare and Other Interactions
You should avoid grapefruit juice unless your doctor says it's OK. Grapefruit juice can magnify the strength of some drugs, including VESIcare.
This drug makes you drowsy and can cause blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery, or perform any task that requires you to be alert, until you are sure you aren't having these complications.
Because this medicine decreases your ability to sweat, be careful when you're exerting yourself, especially in hot weather. You are at higher risk of heat stroke so dress lightly, drink plenty of fluids, and get out of the heat if it becomes overwhelming.
VESIcare comes in tablet form in 5 and 10 milligrams (mg). It's usually taken in a 5 mg dose, once a day. If the 5 mg dose is well tolerated, the dose may be increased to 10 mg, once daily.
VESIcare should be taken with water and swallowed whole. VESIcare can be taken with or without food.
Get emergency medical attention or call the poison control help line at 1-800-222-1222. Symptoms of overdose are severe forms of the side effects listed above.
Missed Dose of VESIcare
Take the missed dose as soon as you realize the mistake. Skip the missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose. Do not double-up on this drug.
Q: What is the interaction between VESIcare and potassium supplements?
A: VESIcare (solifenacin) is intended for the treatment of overactive bladder. It works by blocking activity of one of the body's chemicals (or neurotransmitters) called acetylcholine. These types of drugs that block acetylcholine are also called anticholinergic agents. The use of anticholinergic drugs may increase the risk of upper gastrointestinal injury from potassium supplements. The anticholinergic drugs, like VESIcare, can slow down the time it takes for food and anything taken by mouth to move through the stomach and intestines. This effect could cause a high amount of potassium to be dissolved in one area of the gastrointestinal tract. Potassium pills have been reported to cause upper gastrointestinal bleeding and small bowel ulceration, perforation, and obstruction. More studies are needed with these combinations of medicines to determine if one form of potassium is less likely to cause these effects than another. However, a liquid form of potassium would not have these problems. Patients prescribed a potassium supplement pill and VESIcare should contact their health care provider and also be aware of the symptoms of upper gastrointestinal injury such as severe vomiting, abdominal pain, distention, and gastrointestinal bleeding. For more information, please consult with your health care provider and visit //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/vesicare. Michelle McDermott, PharmD
Q: Is excessive weight gain a side effect of Vesicare? My foot looks like it will pop open! I only took 6 of the 7 sample pills. I also took my 2 Lasix tablets every day as usual if I gain weight every morning.
A: Excessive swelling by Vesicare like you have experienced is not common, and should be immediately addressed by your provider, especially since you did take 2 Lasix (furosemide) tablets, and it apparently had little or no effect. Please contact your prescriber as soon as possible, this could be a symptom of something much more serious. Matt Curley, PharmD
Q: Are there risks to using Vesicare?
A: Vesicare (solifenacin) is classified as an anticholinergic agent. Vesicare is approved for the treatment of overactive bladder with symptoms of urinary frequency, urgency and/or urge incontinence. According to medical references, the most common side effects reported in studied patients taking Vesicare include dry mouth and constipation. These side effects are reported at an incidence greater than 10 percent. Other side effects reported at an incidence of 1 to 10 percent include the following: edema (swelling), high blood pressure, headache, fatigue, depression, upset stomach, nausea, upper abdominal pain, urinary tract infection, urinary retention, blurred vision, dry eyes, cough, and influenza. This is not all of the possible side effects associated with the use of Vesicare. Vesicare, like any other medication has warnings and risks associated with the use of the drug. The medication should be used with caution in patients with reduced kidney function, reduced liver function and patients that have QT prolongation. Vesicare is contraindicated in patients that have urinary retention, gastric retention, and uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma. These are not all of the possible warnings and risks associated with Vesicare. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action. Jen Marsico, RPh
Q: Is there an effective, less expensive alternative to Vesicare?
A: Vesicare (solifenacin) is in a drug class called anticholinergics. Vesicare is used to treat overactive bladder, which is a condition where bladder muscles contract without control -- leading to an urgent need to urinate, with or without control of urination, and usually with frequent urination and waking up at night to urinate. Vesicare works by relaxing bladder muscles. Sometimes overactive bladder can be managed with lifestyle changes, such as: not drinking too much fluid; keeping a bladder diary to find factors causing symptoms; avoiding caffeine and alcohol; eating a high-fiber diet; wearing absorbent pads or underwear; and performing pelvic exercises (e.g., Kegel exercises), to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. In addition to Vesicare, there are 5 other different medications used to treat overactive bladder: Two other anticholinergics are: Ditropan -- including generics, Ditropan XL, Oxytrol - skin patch, Gelnique - gel applied to skin, (oxybutynin), Sanctura and Sanctura XR (trospium). Three medications are in the antimuscarinic drug class: Enablex (darifenacin), Toviaz (fesoterodine), Detrol and Detrol LA (tolterodine). These medications relax the bladder. They modestly reduce symptoms of overactive bladder. There is no convincing scientific evidence that shows that one of the medications is any more effective than any of the others. Side effects with these medications include dry mouth, blurred vision, and constipation. Some evidence suggests that Vesicare, Ditropan XL, Sanctura, Enablex, Oxytrol, and Detrol LA may have fewer side effects. The price of the medications can vary depending on the wholesaler and pharmacy from which the medication is acquired. If a third-party payer (for example, a health insurance company or Medicare) is providing coverage for these medications, they determine the final cost of the product. Costs will vary from one plan to another, and the payer may cover or reimburse part or all of the cost. The only generic available among these medications is oxybutynin. Generic medications are usually lower-cost alternatives to more expensive brand-name drugs. Generic oxybutynin can, however, cause more side effects than some of the other options. The most appropriate treatment for overactive bladder may depend on many patient-specific characteristics. For more specific information, consult with your doctor for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action. Derek Dore, PharmD
Q: What can you tell me about Vesicare, and whether it's good for treating an overactive bladder?
A: Vesicare (solifenacin) has one United States FDA-approved use, and that is for the treatment of overactive bladder. When the supportive tissue between the bladder and vaginal wall weakens and stretches, this results in a cystocele, the bladder bulging into the vagina. One of the symptoms of a cystocele is loss of control of urinary function, resulting in stress incontinence. Stress incontinence involves leaking urine or losing urinary control while coughing, sneezing, or laughing. Treatment for cystocele is dependent on how severe the condition is. Mild cases may need no treatment. Kegel exercises are suggested to improve the strength of the muscles in the pelvic floor. Other treatment options include a pessary, a ring placed into the vagina to help support the bladder. Estrogen therapy may help if you're menopausal, since estrogen levels decline before and during menopause and estrogen is involved in maintaining strength in the pelvic muscles. Sometimes surgery is necessary to treat the cystocele. For more specific information based on your health status and current medications, consult with your doctor. Jennyfer Marsico, RPh
Q: What is the difference between Vesicare and Detrol?
A: Vesicare (solifenacin) belongs to a class of medications called anticholinergics. Vesicare (solifenacin) is normally prescribed for the treatment of overactive bladder (a condition in which the bladder muscles contract uncontrollably and cause frequent urination, urgent need to urinate, and inability to control urination). Vesicare (solifenacin) helps to relax the bladder muscles and prevents urgent, frequent, or uncontrolled urination. Common side effects of Vesicare (solifenacin) are dry mouth, constipation, stomach pain, upset stomach, vomiting, heartburn, blurred vision and extreme tiredness. Detrol (tolterodine) belongs to a class of medications called antimuscarinics. Detrol (tolterodine) is usually used for relieving urinary difficulties, including frequent urination and inability to control urination. Detrol (tolterodine) helps to prevent bladder contraction. Common side effects of Detrol (tolterodine) are dry mouth, constipation, dry eyes, upset stomach, headache, dizziness and blurred vision. Studies have shown that both medications are effective for the treatment of overactive bladder. In these studies, patients have reported some of the same common side effects for both drugs. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about your treatment options. Consult with them regarding all other prescription or over-the-counter medications you may be taking that may cause additional prolonged side effects or drug interactions.
Video: Overveiw of Vesicare a Prescription Medication Used to Treat Symptoms of an Overactive Bladder
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