The transdermal patch formulation of the anticholinergic drug oxybutynin (Oxytrol – Watson) is now available over the counter (OTC) as Oxytrol for Women (MSD) for use in women with overactive bladder (OAB). It is the first treatment for OAB to become available OTC. Oxybutynin remains available only by prescription for men.
OAB, characterized by symptoms of urgency, frequency, and incontinence with no obvious cause, occurs mainly in older women.1 Behavioral modification, including fluid schedules, timed voiding, pelvic exercises, and urge suppression, is usually tried first.
Anticholinergic drugs such as oxybutynin and tolterodine (Detrol, and others) reduce OAB symptoms by relaxing bladder smooth muscle and inhibiting involuntary detrusor contractions. Dry mouth has been the limiting adverse effect. In clinical studies, the oxybutynin patch was associated with fewer systemic adverse effects, including dry mouth, than the oral drug, but with a high incidence of pruritus at the application site.2
Oxytrol and Oxytrol for Women both deliver 3.9 mg of oxybutynin per 24 hours and are applied every 4 days, but a box of 8 prescription Oxytrol patches costs $320.32,3 while an 8-patch box of OTC Oxytrol for Women costs only $29.99.4
3. Wholesale acquisition cost (WAC). Source: $ource® Monthly (Selected from FDB MedKnowledge™) September 5, 2013. Reprinted with permission by FDB, Inc. All rights reserved. ©2013. www.fdbhealth.com/policies/drug-pricing-policy. Actual retail price may be higher.
4. Cost according to drugstore.com. Accessed September 5, 2013.