Mirabegron is a medicine that eases the symptoms of overactive bladder. It does not treat your condition.
It helps with symptoms such as:
- a sudden and urgent need to pee (urinary urgency)
- needing to pee more often than usual (urinary frequency)
- wetting yourself if you cannot make it to the loo in time (urinary incontinence)
Mirabegron works by relaxing the muscles around your bladder. This means your bladder can hold more liquid and reduces your need to pee as often or as urgently.
This medicine is only available on prescription.
It comes as slow-release tablets (called "modified release" or "prolonged release"). This means the tablets release mirabegron slowly and evenly throughout the day.
Who can and cannot take mirabegron
Mirabegron can be taken by adults (aged 18 years and over).
It is not suitable for everyone. To make sure it's safe for you, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting mirabegron if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to mirabegron or any other medicines in the past
- have liver or kidney problems
- have high blood pressure
- are not able to pee or empty your bladder completely (urinary retention)
- have a blockage in your bladder
- have a heart problem called QT prolongation
- are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding
Side effects of mirabegron
Like all medicines, mirabegron can cause side effects in some people, but many people have no side effects or only minor ones.
Side effects often improve as your body gets used to the medicine.
Common side effects happen in more than 1 in 100 people. They are usually mild and shortlived.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if the side effects bother you or do not go away:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- urinary tract infection (UTI) – pain or a burning sensation when peeing; smelly or cloudy pee
- feeling dizzy
- fast heart rate – you can feel your heart beating faster than usual for no obvious reason (like vigorous exercise)
Serious side effects
Serious side effects are rare and happen in less than 1 in 1,000 people.
- you have problems emptying your bladder completely, or problems starting to pee
- you have irritated eyes; red or swollen eyelids
- you get small spots on your skin that are purple but not itchy
- you have chest pain, a very severe headache, or difficulty breathing
In rare cases, it's possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to mirabegron.
- you get a skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
- you're wheezing
- you get tightness in the chest or throat
- you have trouble breathing or talking
- your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat start swelling
You could be having a serious allergic reaction and may need immediate treatment in hospital.
These are not all the side effects of mirabegron. For a full list see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.
You can report any suspected side effect to the UK safety scheme.
How to cope with side effects
What to do about:
- feeling sick – try taking mirabegron with a meal or snack. It may also help if you stick to simple meals and avoid rich or spicy food.
- constipation – eat more high-fibre foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables and cereals, and drink plenty of water. Try to exercise more regularly, for example, by going for a daily walk or run. If this does not help, talk to your pharmacist or doctor. Watch this short video about how to treat constipation.
- diarrhoea – drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash, to avoid dehydration. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having dark strong-smelling pee. Do not take any other medicines to treat diarrhoea without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor.
- urinary tract infection (UTI) – if you think you have a UTI, ask a pharmacist or doctor to recommend a treatment. Tell them that you are taking mirabegron.
- headache – make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink too much alcohol. Ask a pharmacist to recommend a painkiller. Talk to your doctor if the headaches continue or are severe.
- feeling dizzy – stop what you're doing and sit or lie down until you feel better. Do not drive, ride a bike or operate machinery until it passes. If you are still having dizzy spells after a week, speak to your doctor.
- fast heart rate – lie down and try to relax. This is usually nothing to worry about and will pass. Contact 111 if your heart beat does not slow down after resting, or if you have chest pain.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Mirabegron is not usually recommended in pregnancy. There's not enough information available to say whether it's safe or not to take this medicine during pregnancy.
There may be other medicines for treating urinary symptoms that are safer for you.
If you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant, talk to your doctor about the benefits and possible risks of taking mirabegron.
Mirabegron and breastfeeding
There's not a lot of information about the safety of mirabegron when breastfeeding.
Mirabegron is likely to pass into your breast milk and so it may cause problems for your baby.
Talk to your doctor, as other medicines for urinary symptoms might be better while you're breastfeeding.
- trying to get pregnant
For more information about what to do about bladder problems during pregnancy, read this leaflet about treating urinary incontinence on the Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPs) website.
Cautions with other medicines
Mirabegron may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how mirabegron works.
Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you're taking:
- digoxin, a medicine for heart failure or abnormal heart rhythm
- imipramine or desipramine, medicines for urinary incontinence or nerve pain
- dabigatran, a blood thinner (anticoagulant)
- clarithromycin, an antibiotic
- ketoconazole or itraconazole, medicines used to treat fungal infections
- ritonavir, a medicine used to treat HIV
There's very little information about taking mirabegron with herbal remedies and supplements. These remedies are not tested in the same way as medicines.
For safety, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any other medicines, including herbal remedies and supplements.
Urinary incontinence — Link to Related Condition
HealthUnlocked: mirabegron forum — Link to Useful Resource
Bladder & Bowel UK: charity — Link to Useful Resource
HealthUnlocked contains information from NHS Digital, licensed under the current version of the Open Government Licence