Published: 2 March 2017

Oxybutynin – Psychiatric Side Effects

Prescriber Update 38(1): 13
March 2017

Oxybutynin is an anticholinergic medicine indicated for urinary frequency and urgency. It is available as tablets, syrup and patches1,2. Oxybutynin, like all anticholinergic medicines, can cause psychiatric side effects such as confusion, agitation, anxiety, hallucinations, nightmares, paranoia, symptoms of depression and dependence (in patients with a history of drug or substance abuse). Although the patch reduces patient exposure to oxybutynin, psychiatric side effects have also been reported with this formulation.

Patients should be warned about these side effects as they can affect driving ability. If patients experience these effects, a dose reduction or an alternative treatment may be required.

  1. Apotex New Zealand Limited. 2016. Apo-oxybutynin data sheet 14 March 2016. URL: (accessed 23 September 2016).
  2. Actavis New Zealand Limited. 2013. Oxytrol Transdermal patch data sheet 1 July 2013. URL: (accessed 23 September 2016).