Overactive bladder; Detrusor instability; Detrusor hyperreflexia; Irritable bladder; Spasmodic bladder; Unstable bladder; Incontinence - urge; Bladder spasms
The choice of treatment will depend on how severe the symptoms are, and how much they interfere with your lifestyle. There are three main treatment approaches for urge incontinence: medication, retraining, and surgery.
If evidence of infection is found in a urine culture, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics.
Medications used to treat urge incontinence relax the involuntary bladder contractions and help improve bladder function. There are several types of medications that may be used alone or in combination:
- Anticholinergic medicines help relax the muscles of the bladder. They include oxybutynin (Oxytrol, Ditropan), tolterodine (Detrol), darifenacin (Enablex), trospium (Sanctura), solifenacin (Vesicare)
- These are the most commonly used medications for urge incontinence and are available in a once-a-day formula that makes dosing easy and effective.
- The most common side effects of these medicines are dry mouth and constipation. The medications cannot be used by patients with narrow angle glaucoma.
Flavoxate (Urispas) is an antispasmodic drug. However, studies have shown that it is not always effective at controlling symptoms of urge incontinence.
Tricyclic antidepressants (imipramine, doxepin) have also been used to treat urge incontinence because of their ability to "paralyze" the bladder smooth muscle. Possible side effects include:
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
Drink plenty of water:
Review Date: 03/05/2010
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine (8/30/2009).