Propantheline bromide is a prescription medication. It is generally classified under a category of drugs known as anticholinergics. Such drugs, including propantheline bromide, typically work by helping to relax tense muscles in the body and reduce the output of various bodily secretions. There are several conditions that may be treated with this medication, including gastrointestinal, urinary and other secretion disorders. As with most drugs, there are some possible side effects and risks associated with the use of propantheline bromide.
The original use for propantheline bromide was in the treatment of stomach ulcers. Studies showed the drug could help with this disorder by reducing the amount of acid being produced by the stomach and relieving stomach muscle spasms that could cause a patient discomfort. The drug is still approved for and used in the treatment of stomach ulcers today. In fact, in the United States and Canada, this is the only officially approved use for the drug.
While prescription drugs are typically approved and marketed only for certain uses, many are used by health-care providers to treat other conditions beyond this primary approval. This is the case with propantheline bromide, which is sometimes also used to treat gastrointestinal and urinary disorders that involve muscle spasms similar to those that can be caused by peptic ulcers. Such disorders may include irritable bowel syndrome, overactive bladder and incontinence. In some cases, propantheline bromide may also be used to treat hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, as it can help reduce the amount of fluid that is secreted by the sweat glands.
There are certain side effects sometimes associated with the use of propantheline bromide. Some common side effects can include dry mouth, dry eyes, trouble urinating, dizziness and blurry vision. Less common, but more serious, side effects can include a racing heart beat, pain in the eyes and symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives and/or trouble breathing. It’s generally recommended that people who experience these or any other side effects report them to their health-care providers right away. Depending on the problem, the medication may need to be discontinued or the dose may need to be adjusted.
For some people, the use of propantheline bromide may carry more risks than the potential benefits. This may include people who have glaucoma, ulcerative colitis, liver disease, kidney problems, an abnormal heart beat, heart failure and other heart-related problems. For these people, the drug may cause serious side effects and potentially long-term harm, such as eye damage, bowel obstruction or worsening of the underlying condition. Due to this, many health-care providers recommend avoiding the use of propantheline bromide in such patients.