Bethanechol is a medication commonly used to increase bladder contractility in order to help the bladder empty and to increase urination. It can also be used to treat symptoms of dysautonomia. Dysautonomia is a condition where the autonomic nervous system, or ANS, does not function properly. The ANS controls unconscious functions of the body such as the gastrointestinal system, cardiovascular system, and metabolic system.
Because bethanechol is considered a cholinergic agent, it is associated with side effects similar to other cholinergic medications. These include the following side effects:
Increased lacrimation or tear production
When given to smaller animals, bethanechol has mild adverse effects which may also include anorexia (loss of appetite) or vomiting.
It is possible to give your pet too much bethanechol. It is important to give bethanechol exactly as your pet's veterinarian has instructed. Overdosage signs are similar to the side effects but can be more severe in nature. Talk to your pet's veterinarian immediately regarding any potential adverse effects.
Important tips regarding administration and monitoring:
Give the medication to your pet on an empty stomach unless otherwise instructed by your pet's veterinarian
Contact your pet's veterinarian if salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, or anorexia are extreme or persist when giving bethanechol
Monitor your pet for urination frequency and amount voided
It is important to give your pet this medication exactly as prescribed and to not discontinue the drug without consulting with the veterinarian. If you miss giving your pet the dose, give it to him as soon as you remember. If it is close to the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your normal schedule. If you are unsure about when to give a missed dose, contact your pet's veterinarian.
Bethanechol Tablets' Client Information Sheet for pet parent reference opens in a new window.
Bethanechol Tablets' Drug Label for veterinary reference opens in a new window.