Sounds like 'tol-TER-oh-deen'

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

Notification July 2020

Tolterodine is no longer available in Aotearoa New Zealand. This page will no longer be updated.
All brands of tolterodine are no longer available in New Zealand. Talk to your doctor about the different medicines that you could use instead to treat urinary incontinence.

What is tolterodine?

  • Tolterodine is used to treat some bladder control problems and urinary conditions such as overactive bladder, incontinence, urinary frequency and urinary urgency. Read more about bladder control problems.
  • It works by relaxing the muscles in the bladder and in this way controls the release of urine and eases the symptoms.
  • Tolterodine is available as tablets.


  • The usual dose of tolterodine is 2 milligrams twice daily. Your doctor may lower your dose to 1 milligram twice daily if side effects become a problem.  
  • Always take your tolterodine exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much tolterodine to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take tolterodine

  • Take tolterodine tablets with a glass of water at the same time each day.
  • You can take tolterodine with or without food.
  • 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 tolterodine?

Side effects What should I do?
  • Constipation
  • This is quite common when you first start taking tolterodine.
  • Read more on 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 tolterodine.
  • 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.
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


When certain medications are taken together, an unintended reaction may occur – this is known as an interaction. Tolterodine may interact with a few medications and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more

If you have any questions about your medicines or about the combination of medicines that you are taking, or if you are concerned about any side effects or interactions talk to your pharmacist or doctor.

The following links provide further information on tolterodine. Be aware that websites from other countries may contain information that differs from New Zealand recommendations.

Tolterodine Patient Info (UK)

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Nicola Rowbottom, Pharmacist, South Canterbury Last reviewed: 09 Jan 2017