- Bethanechol is a synthetic direct-acting cholinergic agonist with a specificity for muscarinic receptors. It is less prone to destruction by cholinesterases and thus displays a long half-life compared to acetylcholine. Its primary pharmacological effects are on the GI and GU systems and is therapeutically used to promote mictruition in those with atonic bladders.
|Pharmacological Effects and Therapeutic Uses|
- GI System: Bethanechol enhances GI Motility. Previously it was used to treat intestinal atony but other agents have replaced it for this use.
- GU System: Bethanechol stimulates the detrusor muscle of the bladder, promoting mictruition. Consequently, bethanechol has been used to treat atonic bladder, potentially as a result of neurogenic bladder.
- Most of the adverse effects of this drug are predictable consequences of muscarinic receptor stimulation.
- Cardiovascular: Hypotension, bradycardia
- Respiratory: Bronchoconstriction as such contraindicated in asthma and COPD
- GI: Diarrhea due to increased GI secretions and abdominal cramping likely from increased GI Motility
- Glands: Increased sweating yielding diaphoresis.