Solifenacin

About solifenacin

Solifenacin is a medicine used to treat symptoms of an overactive bladder. These can include:

Solifenacin works by relaxing the muscles around your bladder. This means your bladder can hold more liquid and you do not need to pee as often or as urgently.

Solifenacin is only available on prescription. It comes as tablets and as a liquid that you swallow.

Solifenacin also comes combined with tamsulosin, a medicine for prostate problems. Solifenacin with tamsulosin is known as Vesomni. Your doctor may prescribe this to treat a sudden and urgent need to pee if you have an enlarged prostate.

Key facts

Who can and cannot take solifenacin

Solifenacin can be taken by adults (aged 18 years and over).

It's not suitable for everyone. To make sure it's safe for you, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting solifenacin if you:

How and when to take solifenacin

Dosage

Always read the information that comes with your medicine.

You'll usually take solifenacin once a day. You can take your dose at any time but try to take it at the same time each day.

Swallow your tablets whole with a drink of water, do not chew or crush them. You can take solifenacin with or without food.

The usual dose of solifenacin is 5mg, taken once a day. If your symptoms do not improve, your doctor may increase your dose to 10mg a day.

The usual dose for solifenacin with tamsulosin (Vesomni) is 1 tablet once a day.

What if I forget to take it?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose and take your next one at the normal time.

Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.

What if I take too much?

Taking 1 extra dose of solifenacin is unlikely to harm you.

However, you may get more side effects, such as a dry mouth or headache.

The amount of solifenacin that can lead to an overdose varies from person to person, and too much solifenacin can be dangerous.

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

You've taken more than your usual dose of solifenacin and you have:

  • a fast heartbeat
  • breathing problems

If you need to go to hospital, do not drive yourself. Get someone else to drive you, or to call you an ambulance.

Take the solifenacin packet with you, or the leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine.

Contact 111 for advice now if:

You've taken 2 or more extra doses of solifenacin and you:

  • have hallucinations
  • feel very restless or excited
  • have dilated pupils in your eyes
  • are not able to pee

Call 111 or go to 111.nhs.uk

Side effects

Common side effects

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

Common side effects happen in more than 1 in 100 people. They are usually mild and short-lived.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if these side effects bother you or do not go away:

Serious side effects

Serious side effects are rare.

Tell your doctor straight away if you have:

Serious allergic reaction

In rare cases, it's possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to solifenacin.

These are not all the side effects of solifenacin. For a full list, see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.

How to cope with side effects of solifenacin

What to do about:

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Solifenacin and pregnancy

Solifenacin is not usually recommended in pregnancy because there's not enough information available to say if it's safe for you and your baby.

If you're trying to get pregnant or you're already pregnant, talk to your doctor about whether taking solifenacin is right for you.

Solifenacin and breastfeeding

Solifenacin is not usually recommended while breastfeeding. However, some breastfeeding mothers may still need it.

It is not known how much solifenacin gets into breast milk, but this is likely to be small. However, there's a risk your baby might have some side effects. Your doctor may therefore advise that you take an alternative medicine.

If your doctor says it's ok for you to keep taking solifenacin, monitor your baby for possible side effects, such as constipation, peeing less and colic.

Talk to your doctor, midwife or health visitor if you have any concerns about your baby while you're breastfeeding, including if you do not think your baby is putting on enough weight.

For more information about how solifenacin can affect you and your baby during pregnancy, read this leaflet on treating urinary incontinence on the Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPs) website.

Cautions with other medicines

Mixing solifenacin with herbal remedies and supplements

Some medicines and solifenacin can affect each other. This can increase the chance of side effects.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you're taking:

Some herbal products such as turmeric may change the way your body processes solifenacin.

There's very little information about taking solifenacin with other herbal remedies and supplements.

Some herbal medicines can make you feel sleepy, cause a dry mouth, or make it difficult to pee. Their effect is similar to solifenacin. This can increase your risk of getting side effects or make your side effects worse.

Common questions about solifenacin

How does solifenacin work? How long does it take to work? How long will I take it for? Is it safe to take for a long time? Is it safe to take with painkillers? What will happen if I stop taking it? Are there other medicines for urinary incontinence and overactive bladder? Can I drink alcohol with it? Is there any food or drink I need to avoid? Will I gain or lose weight? Will it affect my contraception? Will it affect my fertility? Can I drive or ride a bike? Are there lifestyle changes that can help overactive bladder?