(be-Than-e-kol English phonetic spelling
]) is a parasympathomimetic choline ester
that selectively stimulates muscarinic receptors
(with further selectivity for M3 receptors) without any effect on nicotinic receptors
. Its chemical structure is 2-((aminocarbonyl)oxy)-N,N,N-trimethyl-1-propanaminium. Unlike acetylcholine
, bethanechol is not hydrolyzed
and will therefore have a long duration of action.
Bethanechol is sold under the brand names Duvoid (Roberts), Myotonachol (Glenwood), and Urecholine (Merck Frosst).
Bethanechol is sometimes given oral
to treat urinary retention
resulting from general anesthetic
or diabetic neuropathy
of the bladder, or to treat gastrointestinal atony (lack of muscular tone). The muscarinic receptors in the bladder
and gastrointestinal tract
stimulate contraction of the bladder and expulsion of urine
, and increased gastrointestinal motility, respectively. Bethanechol should be used to treat these disorders only after obstruction is ruled out as a possible cause.
Its potential benefit in the treatment of cerebral palsy has been investigated.
Use of bethanechol, as well as all other muscarinic receptor agonists, is contraindicated in patients with asthma
, coronary insufficiency
, peptic ulcers
, and incontinence
. The parasympathomimetic action of this drug will exacerbate the symptoms of these disorders.
- Katzung, Bertram G. Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, 9th ed. (2004). ISBN 0-07-141092-9
- Brenner, G. M. (2000). Pharmacology. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Company. ISBN 0-7216-7757-6
- Canadian Pharmacists Association (2000). Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (25th ed.). Toronto, ON: Webcom. ISBN 0-919115-76-4