Sounds like 'SOE-li-FEN-a-sin

Solifenacin is used to treat some bladder control problems. Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects. Solifenacin is also called Vesicare.

Type of medicine

Also called

  • Medicine to treat urinary symptoms such as incontinence
  • Belongs to a group of medicines known as anti-cholinergics.
  • Vesicare®

What is solifenacin?

  • Solifenacin is used to treat some bladder control problems and urinary conditions such as overactive bladder, incontinence, urinary frequency (the need to pass urine more often than usual) and urinary urgency (the need to pass urine more urgently than usual).
  • It works by relaxing the muscles in the bladder and in this way controls the release of urine eases the symptoms.
  • Read more about bladder control problems.


  • The usual starting dose of solifenacin is 5 milligrams once daily.
  • Depending on your response, your doctor may increase your dose gradually to 10 milligrams once a daily.
  • Always take your solifenacin exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much solifenacin to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take solifenacin

  • Take solifenacin tablets with a glass of water at the same time each day.
  • You can take solifenacin with or without food.
  • To reduce your urinary symptoms, you must keep taking solifenacin every day.
  • Limit drinking alcohol while your are taking solifenacin. Alcohol can increase the risk of side effects.
  • If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.

What are the side effects of solifenacin?

Like all medicines, solifenacin can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Constipation
  • This is quite common when you first start taking solifenacin.
  • Read more for advice on managing constipation
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Dry mouth
  • To prevent dry mouth, avoid using mouthwashes with alcohol.
  • Chewing on sugar-free gum, and drinking small sips of water as needed, may also be helpful.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Read more about dry mouth.
  • Drowsiness, sleepiness or feeling tired
  • This is common when starting solifenacin or after increasing the dose.
  • Be careful when driving or using tools until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Feeling dizzy
  • This usually happens when you start your medication. It should wear off in a few weeks.
  • Try not to stand up too quickly. You are at risk of falls.
  • If you feel dizzy, don't drive.
  • Reduced sweating
  • Fever
  • Heat stroke
  • Avoid hot environmental conditions.
  • Increase your fluid intake in hot weather or when exercising.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as skin rash, hives or itches, swelling of the face, lips, mouth
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine.
Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product


  • Solifenacin may interact with a few medications and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Solifenacin may also interact with some medicines available over-the-counter, without a prescription such as some antihistamines (also in anti-allergy, anti-nausea and cough/cold preparations), meclozine (e.g. Sea-legs®), prochlorperazine (e.g. Buccastem®) and anti-diarrhoeals (e.g. Diastop®). Ask your pharmacist.

Learn more

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet Vesicare  

Additional resources for healthcare professionals

Solifenacin NZ Formulary
Vesicare Medsafe, NZ
Urinary incontinence in adults BPAC, NZ, 2013

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Nicola Rowbottom, Pharmacist, South Canterbury