The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Oxytrol

A closer look at Oxytrol. 
A new over the counter product has come out for women who suffer from OAB (over-active bladder), it is called Oxytrol. It is the first over-the-counter treatment for overactive bladder in women ages 18 years and older to be approved by the FDA.

OAB is a condition where the bladder squeezes too often or without warning. This can lead to leakage, frequent urination, and uncomfortable and urgent urges to urinate. Over 30 million Americans are estimated to suffer from OAB.


Oxytrol is a patch that is applied every four days, and delivers oxybutynin to the wearer. Oxybutynin is a medicine that helps relax the bladder muscle, reducing urges and leakage.  

A series of 9 studies, with over 5,000 participants, have shown that when used according to the directions on the Drug Facts label this has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for OAB.  Side effects reported during clinical studies included skin irritation where the patch was applied, dry mouth and constipation.

Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of Oxytrol.

The good:
  •  Available without prescription.
  • Not a pill, so great for those who don’t like or can’t take pills.
  • When taken properly, it is as effective as a prescription pill.

This Amazon review: Love Love Love!! By Deborah Burger, highlights the good about Oxytrol from a user experience.

“I am beyond thrilled with this product so far! For over 10 years I have had an issue with overactive bladder. I don't have problems with having the urge to go often, but when I do get the urge, I need to go RIGHT NOW or it's too late. I saw an ad for this product on t.v. last week, called my doctor yesterday to ask about possible conflicts with some other issues I have, was given the green light to go ahead, and bought some on my lunch hour yesterday. Within a couple hours I was not noticing the urge to go that I usually feel immediately after a drink. I thought maybe it was my imagination, so I specifically had a cup of tea a couple hours before bed, thinking that the real test would be when I got up the next morning. I can't even remember the last time I made it to the bathroom first thing in the morning without at least a little leakage, and more often a complete flood, lol. This morning I felt like I needed to go, but without the sense of urgency that I usually feel, and I have not leaked once since putting the patch on yesterday. I am optimistically hoping that I will continue to have such great results. I wish I had found this sooner. Also, so far no side effects and no trouble with the patch sticking, though I haven't had to change it yet.”

And this review, Terrific Over The Counter Product By M.M.P. Theater Queen, is from someone who has been using the product for a few months.

“I love this new product. I'm on my 3rd month using it. It works wonderfully in preventing urine leaking, sudden urgency and accidents as a result of the uncontrollable urgency of Over Active Bladder. It works quickly too. Within 2 days my symptoms had subsided. My only complaint is that it leaves long lasting, in my case anyway, redness where the patch was placed. Plus I experience periods of itching with the patch. Both items are warnings of this on the package. I tried placing the patch on my side hip area and it helped a lot in curtailing these side effects, however I don't think the patch was quite as effective placed there. You do have to continually have the patch on to work. If you don't replace it, your symptoms come back. Just like the pkg says. All in all however, the results are worth the inconvenience. It is slightly pricey in my opinion, but I don't know what a generic prescription would cost compared to the cost of this product to solve the problem. I have never discussed the OAB with my doctor. I've just lived with it for quite some time.”

The bad:
  • Only helps with one kind of incontinence. 
  • Has a high cost of about $22-$28 for a 16 day supply.
  • Has side effects: constipation, blurred vision, and dry mouth.
  •  Hard to open packaging.

 Unfortunately it doesn’t work for everyone as this review, Wish it Had Worked by MJ Guidry illustrates:
“I've used this for 3 months now and I have to say that it doesn't work for me. I was under the impression (from my doctor) that I had overactive bladder as versus stress incontinence. I'm pretty sure I gave it a fair chance, but without the desired results. I really had high hopes. =( “


The ugly: 
  • Sticky residue
  •  Redness on skin
  • Doesn’t stay on for 4 days for everyone.

When it comes to Oxytrol, the ugly is mostly related to the actual application. The patch itself has some pitfalls. For example, it may not stay on for the 4 days it should, or it leaves a sticky residue.
Most of the reviews on Amazon report that the patch leaves a sticky, uncomfortable residue on the skin that is hard to remove. This review, It works but there are some downsides by PuddleJumper, sums it up:
“It works. After I had my daughter, I go a lot. I also drink a lot of water. I'm not a fan of the sticky square patch. After a day or so, lint from your clothes inevitably sticks to the edges of the patch. Also, taking it off, the sticky stays on the skin and it's a pain to get off. So, I like it. It's great if we're going on a road trip or an event that I don't want to constantly have to go to the bathroom or use public bathrooms for that matter. It doesn't make you stop pee'ing (let's be clear on that) but it does lessen the urge to go so often. Otherwise, I had no weird side effects. I'll keep them on my shelf when needed but won't be using them daily because of the sticky skin issue. “

Read more reviews here


If you are suffering from OAB, this may be the over the counter solution for you, some have found great results, while others have not. But what do you have to lose?


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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visithttp://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.

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