My grandmother takes oxybutynin, and it’s not helping and giving her negative side effects. Should she be taken off the medication?


My aunt is “in charge” of my grandmothers care and won’t take her off oxybutnin because her doctor said she won’t get side effects from such a low dose. She is having trouble swallowing and has increased memory loss, dry mouth and very dry skin (getting skin tears.) I am a nurse and I say she needs to be taken off the medication but my aunt won’t listen. How do I get my grandmother off oxybutynin to see if the side effects get better?



Is your grandmother drinking enough? Or is she cutting down on fluid intake as another way of trying to deal with "bathroom issues"?
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Reply to Countrymouse

Well. It's difficult, isn't it.

Your aunt has taken responsibility for your grandparents' care. How long has she been doing this?

You are concerned about possible side effects from a medication, bearing in mind that the effects you describe can have many other causes too, of course. And since, obviously, you haven't been able to discuss this with the px'ing doctor, I'm guessing it's just turning into an unhelpful and painful tussle of opinions with your aunt?

You could download the patient information leaflet for the medication - just bung the serial number online and you'll find it there. Highlight any bits you feel are relevant and hand it to your aunt without comment.

You must bear in mind that your aunt wants your grandmother to be okay at least as much as you do. If she didn't think what she was doing was right, she wouldn't do it just to save face in front of you.

The other key thing is the reason the oxybutynin was prescribed in the first place. You say it isn't helping, and that the GP says your grandmother is on a very low dose, yes?

I certainly agree with you that this situation needs proper reporting and proper review. If incontinence was distressing your grandmother, and she's still incontinent and/but now having side effects too, then something needs to change, sure. Are you concerned that your aunt isn't reporting changes to the GP? Has the medication had enough time to take effect?

One other idea for now - you could talk this over with a pharmacist, and see if that helps to either back you up, or set your mind at rest.

What does your grandmother think?
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Reply to Countrymouse

My aunt won’t liaten to anyone but the Dr and won’t tell me who the Dr is. I could do some digging and figure it out but I’m trying to minimize waves with my grandparents, they are already stressed out.
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Reply to Cathia84

Dear Cathia,

I'm sorry to hear about the struggle with your aunt over your grandmother's care. I know your aunt is only try to follow doctor's orders. I wonder if another family member or friend could talk to her and also to the doctor.

I'm with you. I'm very concerned about the side effects of medications on the elderly. It sometimes feels like a science experiment trying to get the right meds at the right dosage.

Are you able to talk to the doctor directly?

I hope things get better for your grandmother.
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Reply to cdnreader