How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Trospium belongs to the family of medications known as antispasmodics. It is used to relieve symptoms associated with an overactive bladder, such as urinary urgency (a need to urinate right away), urinary frequency, urge incontinence (leaking or wetting caused by an unstoppable urge to urinate), and nocturia (having to urinate frequently during the night).

The medication works by relaxing the bladder. It helps to reduce bladder spasms, the urge to pass urine, and the frequency of urination.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each yellow, circular, biconvex, coated tablet, imprinted with “20” in black on one side and plain on the other side, contains 20 mg of trospium chloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, lactose monohydrate, povidone, croscarmellose sodium, colloidal silicon dioxide, stearic acid, sucrose, polyethylene glycol, carboxy methyl cellulose sodium, calcium carbonate, talc, ferric oxide yellow, titanium dioxide, hypromellose, glycerin, shellac glaze, ferrosoferric oxide, propylene glycol, and ammonium hydroxide.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose of trospium is 20 mg twice daily, at least one hour before meals or on an empty stomach. Lower daily doses may be needed for people with severe kidney function impairment and for people 75 years and older.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is very important to take this medication exactly as prescribed. If you miss a dose of this medication, take your next dose at the usual time (on an empty stomach at least one hour before your next meal). Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take trospium if you:

  • are allergic to trospium or to any ingredients of the medication
  • have or are at risk for gastric retention (delayed emptying of the stomach)
  • have or are at risk for uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma
  • have or are at risk for urinary retention (an inability to empty the bladder)

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • blurred vision
  • constipation
  • decreased sweating
  • dizziness
  • dry eyes
  • dry mouth
  • fatigue
  • gas
  • headache
  • heartburn
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain
  • nausea
  • upper abdominal pain

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • chest pain
  • eye pain
  • fainting
  • heat stroke (due to decreased sweating)
  • pounding, fast, or irregular heartbeat
  • urinary retention

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • inability to urinate
  • signs of a severe allergic reaction (such as hives; difficulty breathing; or swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, or throat)
  • severe skin rash (e.g., blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin and mucous membranes)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Drowsiness/blurred vision: Trospium may cause drowsiness or blurred vision. Avoid activities requiring mental alertness, such as driving, operating machinery, or performing hazardous work, until you know how trospium affects you. Alcohol and other medications that cause drowsiness may increase the drowsiness caused by trospium.

Gastrointestinal disorders: Trospium may slow down the passage of food through the digestive system. If you have an obstructive gastrointestinal disorder, ulcerative colitis, intestinal atony, or myasthenia gravis, your condition should be monitored closely by your doctor while you are taking this medication as trospium may worsen these conditions.

Heat stroke: When trospium is taken in a hot environment, it can cause fever and heat stroke due to decreased sweating. Be sure to drink enough water if you are in a hot environment for a prolonged period of time.

Kidney function: Decreased kidney function may cause trospium to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have kidney disease or decreased kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Liver function: If you have moderate liver function impairment, your condition should be monitored closely by your doctor while you are taking trospium. The safety and effectiveness of using trospium for people with severe liver function impairment have not been established.

Medical conditions: The safety and effectiveness of trospium have not been established for people with congestive heart failure, low blood potassium levels, heart attack, or other conditions associated with an increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms.

Narrow-angle glaucoma: If you are being treated for narrow-angle glaucoma, you should use trospium only if the benefits outweigh the risks. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication. Report any changes in vision to your doctor as soon as possible while you are taking this medication.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if trospium passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.

Seniors: Seniors, especially those 75 years of age and older, may be more sensitive to some of the side effects of trospium and may need a lower daily dose.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

For a full list of interactions, use the Drug Interaction Checker available on the website.

If you are taking other medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

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