Comparison of the effectiveness and side-effects of tolterodine and oxybutynin in children with detrusor instability

Int J Urol. 2006 Feb;13(2):105-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2042.2006.01240.x.


Background: Treatment with anticholinergic agents is the mainstay of therapy for detrusor instability (DI), a chronic and morbid condition characterized by urge urinary incontinence. The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness and tolerability of tolterodine and oxybutynin in children with DI.

Methods: A total of 60 children with DI were enrolled, 30 (14 male, 16 female, mean age 7.97+/-2.71 years) in the tolterodine group and 30 (12 male, 18 female, mean age 7.33+/-2.23 years) in the oxybutynin group. In this prospective study we reviewed data from 60 children followed for at least 6 months. All of the patients in the study population had a history of dysfunctional voiding. Urodynamic investigations were conducted in all of the patients before and after anticholinergic treatment. Episodes of urge urinary incontinence and adverse events were also evaluated.

Results: Improvements in urge incontinence episodes were similar for the children who received tolterodine or oxybutynin. Improvements in the urodynamic parameters were also the same in the two groups. Adverse events were significantly lower in the tolterodine group (13 events in 13 patients) compared to the oxybutynin group (27 events in 20 patients; P=0.027).

Conclusion: Reductions in urge urinary incontinence episodes were similar with tolterodine and oxybutynin in children with DI. Side-effects were more common with oxybutynin. Treatment of children with DI with tolterodine shows significantly better tolerability and this may enhance children's compliance during long-term treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Benzhydryl Compounds / adverse effects
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cresols / adverse effects
  • Cresols / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandelic Acids / adverse effects
  • Mandelic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Phenylpropanolamine / adverse effects
  • Phenylpropanolamine / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tolterodine Tartrate
  • Urinary Incontinence / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Incontinence / physiopathology


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Cresols
  • Mandelic Acids
  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Phenylpropanolamine
  • Tolterodine Tartrate
  • oxybutynin