The information provided below is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medicines listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medicines as recommended by your doctor, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
Common names include:
- Darifenacin (Enablex)
- Flavoxate (Urispas)
- Oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol, and Gelnique)
- Solifenacin (Vesicare)
- Tolterodine (Detrol)
- Trospium (Sanctura)
- Fesoterodine (Toviaz)
These drugs act on the autonomic (automatic) nervous system to alter the balance between bladder pressure and sphincter tone. They specifically weaken the bladder emptying muscle, relieving incontinence that is caused by sudden urges to void due to a full or irritated bladder. Possible side effects include:
- Urine retention
- Dry mouth
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Blurred vision
Common names of topical estrogens include:
Estrogen can also be given in oral, injectable, or transdermal forms, but evidence suggests that topical is best for this condition.
Estrogen is the hormone that stimulates and maintains the breasts, ovaries, uterus, and vagina. At menopause , estrogen levels drop dramatically and these organs begin to age. The tissue that supports the bladder is the anterior wall of the vagina. If this becomes weakened and stretched out, the bladder drops, and stress incontinence may result. Replacing estrogen in your body rejuvenates the vaginal wall and may cure the leaking.
Estrogen has both positive and negative effects. Currently, controversy rages over the use of estrogen in postmenopausal women. To avoid most of the side effects, estrogen for urinary stress incontinence can be given topically as a vaginal cream with results superior to giving it by other routes.
Possible side effects include:
Botulinum toxin type A can be injected directly into bladder muscles during an outpatient procedure. For people with urge incontinence, botox may be able to relax the bladder muscle.
Possible side effects include:
When using estrogen other than the topical creams, ask your doctor to discuss the pros and cons. Also, having a medical condition may mean that you cannot take certain medicines. For example, some people who have glaucoma cannot use anticholinergics.
If you have bladder trouble, check with your doctor before using any other medicines, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements. Many have urinary side effects.
If you are taking medicines, follow these general guidelines:
- Take your medicine as directed. Do not change the amount or schedule.
- Use the measuring device that came with your medicine. If you need to use a spoon, cup, or syringe, make sure it has units that match your medicine. For example, if the medicine is given in milliliters (mL), the device should have mL on it.
- Know what side effects could occur. Report them to your doctor.
- Talk to your doctor before you stop taking the medicine.
- Plan ahead for refills if you need them.
- Do not share your medicine with anyone.
- Drugs can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to your doctor if you are taking more than one drug, including over-the-counter products and supplements.
When to Contact Your Doctor
Call your doctor if:
- You have concerns about estrogen treatment
- Side effects are causing significant problems
- Reviewer: Adrienne Carmack, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 09/12/2012 -