Internal Plumbing Guide

Learn how your bladder works, what happens with
Overactive Bladder (OAB), and how VESIcare may help
treat symptoms of urgency, frequency, and leakage

Start exploring below.

How your bladder works

An inside view of your internal plumbing

Read transcript

Internal Plumbing Guide

To get the full experience of this Interactive Guide, turn up your volume. You'll learn how a normal bladder and an overactive bladder function. You'll also learn about OAB symptoms, and how VESIcare can help to treat them.

Use the buttons to see how a normal bladder and an overactive bladder work, and how VESIcare may help.

Normal Bladder

A Normal Bladder

For people with a normal bladder, urine passes from the kidneys to the bladder, and the bladder expands until it reaches full size.

Once the bladder expands to its full size, it sends a signal to alert the brain that it's time to go to the bathroom.

When you're ready to go, the brain sends a message back to the bladder, telling the bladder muscle to start contracting.

This starts the flow of urine, and as the bladder muscle continues to contract, the bladder empties. But what happens if you have OAB?

Overactive Bladder

An Overactive Bladder

For people with OAB, bladder function is different. Instead of filling and emptying as it should, the bladder muscle contracts involuntarily, before the bladder expands to its full size.

When the bladder contracts involuntarily, it may result in OAB symptoms.

OAB symptoms can be unpredictable and uncontrollable. What are they? Continue on to learn more.

Symptoms of OAB

Symptoms of an Overactive Bladder

Common symptoms of overactive bladder include: urgency, frequency, and leakage.

When the bladder muscle contracts before the bladder expands to its full size, you may experience urgency, the strong and sudden need to use the bathroom.

Another common OAB symptom is frequency, the need to use the bathroom 8 or more times a day.

OAB may also result in accidental leaks from time to time. VESIcare may be able to help.

How VESIcare Works

How VESIcare Works

A natural body chemical called acetylcholine binds to receptors on the bladder, causing the bladder muscle to contract.

VESIcare works by blocking acetylcholine from binding to these receptors.

As a result, VESIcare may help control and reduce OAB symptoms.

Now that you know how a bladder functions and how VESIcare may help treat OAB symptoms of urgency, frequency, and leakage, explore the rest of the site and make an appointment to talk to your doctor.

The Doctor Conversation Guide

Answer a few questions to get
personalized results, tips, and
resources that will help you talk
to your doctor.


VESIcare is for overactive bladder with symptoms of urgency, frequency, and leakage. The recommended dose of VESIcare is 5 mg once daily.
If the 5 mg dose is well tolerated, your doctor may increase the dose to 10 mg once daily.


VESIcare is not for everyone. If you have certain stomach or glaucoma problems, or trouble emptying your bladder, do not take VESIcare. VESIcare may cause allergic reactions that may be serious. If you experience swelling of the face, lips, throat, or tongue, stop taking VESIcare and get emergency help. Tell your doctor right away if you have severe abdominal pain, or become constipated for three or more days. VESIcare may cause blurred vision, so use caution while driving or doing unsafe tasks. Common side effects are dry mouth, constipation, and indigestion.

Please see accompanying complete Prescribing Information.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Overactive bladder (OAB)

Overactive bladder occurs when you cannot control your bladder contractions. When these muscle contractions happen too often or cannot be controlled you can get symptoms of overactive bladder, which include urinary frequency, urinary urgency, and urge urinary incontinence (leakage).


The balloon-shaped organ inside the body that holds urine.

Bladder tracker

A record of your daily bathroom routine

Bladder training

A method of going to the bathroom on a regular schedule and emptying the bladder completely


The ability to control the timing of urination or a bowel movement

Contraction or Contracts

To shrink, tighten, or become smaller.


The need to go to the bathroom more than eight times in a 24-hour period.


The loss of bladder control that results in leakage.

Kegel exercises

Exercises to tighten and relax the bladder muscle and hold the bladder in its proper position.

Stress incontinence

Leakage due to weak pelvic muscles that happens while coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, jumping, or other physical activity


A sudden sense of needing to go to the bathroom right away.

Urinary tract (or urinary system)

The system in the body that removes waste from the blood and carries it out of the body through urine

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

An illness caused by foreign bacteria, viruses, or yeast that grows in the urinary tract


The liquid that contains extra water and waste made by the kidneys that passes from the body.


A doctor who specializes in diseases of the male and female urinary system and the male reproductive system


A drug or substance that increases the volume of urine output.

Urge urinary incontinence

The strong, sudden need to urinate due to bladder spasms or contractions.