Pharmacotherapy and Bladder issues

Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) can have a serious impact on a person’s quality of life. Living with bladder issues can make day to day tasks such as leaving the house difficult. Presently doctors may start with treatments such as bladder training which aims to strengthen the pelvic floor and recommend the use of incontinence products such as pads and underwear. Read more about the types of bladder issues and treatments available in our patient journey for bladder issues.

Pharmacotherapy has changed the lives of many in recent years and will continue to play a major role in the future treatment of bladder issues. The term refers to the use of pharmaceutical medication alone to ease symptoms associated with bladder issues. Currently there are several effective forms of medication for people with overactive bladder and urge incontinence. These include:

  • Antimuscarinics (also called anticholinergics) - a type of medication which will be prescribed by your doctor if you have overactive bladder syndrome or urge incontinence.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants - an antidepressant which has shown to be effective in the treatment of over active bladder syndrome. It can help the urethral sphincter relax which can improve urinary incontinence.
  • Muscle relaxing medication - works to relax the bladder muscle with the aim to increase the amount of urine your bladder can hold.
  • Botox - injections of Botox into the bladder muscle work to block the actions of chemical messengers which trigger bladder contractions.

Not all types of medication are suitable for everyone and some people may experience side effects which could impact their decision to use certain types of medication. If you are considering treatment options for bladder issues a discussion with your doctor will help you to both make the right decisions for you.

Sources of evidence used available on request

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Next review: 16 November 2019