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MEDICATIONS FOR STRESS INCONTINENCE
There are currently no medications that are approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for the treatment of stress incontinence (SUI), but several promising studies are being conducted on new medications that may be useful in managing SUI. These medications appear to act on the neurochemicals that influence urethral pressure. When pressure in the urethra is maintained, there is less likelihood of leakage.
MEDICATIONS FOR URGE INCONTINENCE
Urge incontinence and overactive bladder result from involuntary bladder contractions. Certain medications called anticholinergic/antimuscarinics can block the chemicals that act on the bladder nerves and decrease unwanted bladder contractions. Many of these drugs are safe for long term use, though people who have glaucoma should check with the ophthalmologist before starting anticholinergic/antimuscarinic medication. It is also important to tell your health care provider what other medications you are taking to avoid potential problems with new medications.
Anticholinergic/antimuscarinic medications can have side effects. The most common side effect is dry mouth, which can range from mild to severe. Constipation and dry eyes are less common side effects. More rarely, drowsiness, confusion or heart palpitations occur in people taking these medicines. Your health care provider will work closely with you to determine the correct type and dosage of medication to balance improved bladder control and bothersome side effects.
Several new medications have been developed for the treatment of OAB, but there is no one medication that is right for everyone. Depending on the specific medication ordered, they may need to be taken once or several times a day to maintain effect. Choosing the right medication for you should be done in consultation with your health care provider. Every effort is made to balance the positive effect of the medication with the potential side effects. Medications can vary in price and effectiveness. You may be asked to try a new medication for up to one month before determining whether it is providing the correct balance of relief of symptoms and minimal side effects.
Here is a list of some of the medications used for urge incontinence/ overactive bladder (table updated on 10/15/09):
Strategies for managing common side effects of medications:
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