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Home / Drugs / Starting with B / Bethanechol

Bethanechol is a synthetic ester structurally and pharmacologically related to acetylcholine. A slowly hydrolyzed muscarinic agonist with no nicotinic effects, bethanechol is generally used to increase smooth muscle tone, as in the GI tract following abdominal surgery or in urinary retention in the absence of obstruction. It may cause hypotension, cardiac rate changes, and bronchial spasms. [PubChem]
Myotonine Chloride
Urecholine Chloride
Muscarinic Agonists
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Beta-Methyl Carbachol Chloride
Bethaine Choline Chloride
Bethanechol Chloride
Carbamylmethylcholine Chloride


For the treatment of acute postoperative and postpartum nonobstructive (functional) urinary retention and for neurogenic atony of the urinary bladder with retention.


Bethanechol is a parasympathomimetic (cholinergic) used for the treatment of acute postoperative and postpartum nonobstructive (functional) urinary retention and for neurogenic atony of the urinary bladder with retention. Bethanechol, a cholinergic agent, is a synthetic ester which is structurally and pharmacologically related to acetylcholine. It increases the tone of the detrusor urinae muscle, usually producing a contraction sufficiently strong to initiate micturition and empty the bladder. It stimulates gastric motility, increases gastric tone, and often restores impaired rhythmic peristalsis. Bethanechol chloride is not destroyed by cholinesterase and its effects are more prolonged than those of acetytcholine.

mechanism of action

Bethanechol directly stimulates cholinergic receptors in the parasympathetic nervous system while stimulating the ganglia to a lesser extent. Its effects are predominantly muscarinic, inducing little effect on nicotinic receptors and negligible effects on the cardiovascular system.