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Bethanechol for Buprenorphine-Related Urinary Hesitancy: A Case Series

Varma, Anjali MD; Smigiel, Joseph PharmD; Eck, Nancy FNP; Brooks, Stephanie LCSW

Journal of Addiction Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e3181ed2f50
Case Report

Constipation is a well-known side effect of buprenorphine, but urinary hesitancy is less frequently discussed and may go unrecognized. Reported are the 2 cases of men older than 50 years who experienced disabling urinary hesitancy with buprenorphine and naloxone combination (suboxone) and were successfully treated with bethanechol, a cholinergic medication.

Author Information

From the Buprenorphine Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, Veteran's Affairs Medical Centre, Salem, VA.

Send correspondence and reprint requests to Anjali Varma, MD, Buprenorphine Clinic, Veteran's Affairs Medical Centre, 1970 Raonoke Boulevard, Salem, VA. E-mail:

Received April 19, 2010

Accepted June 15, 2010

© 2011 American Society of Addiction Medicine