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Medicines

Medicines for bladder control generally work by blocking signals that may cause muscle spasms in the bladder. A group of drugs called antispasmodics are usually the first drugs your doctor will consider for treating bladder control problems. Another group of medicines, called tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) can calm nerve signals and decrease spasms in the bladder muscles. For bladder control, the amount of the TCAs is much lower than that used to treat depression.

Talk with your doctor about how your OAB medicine is working. If your symptoms are not improving, ask about the possibility of shifting to one of the newer drugs.

 

Anticholingenics

Anticholinergics suppress involuntary bladder contractions and help decrease the “gotta go” sensation.

Side Effects

Some women break out in hives. They may also experience swelling of the skin, eyes, lips, and mucous membranes. Typically, this side effect does not last long. If you experience side effects, contact your doctor and seek care.

Other Names for This Medicine
Brand NameGeneric Name
Ditropan®
Ditropan XL®
Oxytrol®
Gelnique®
Oxybutynin
Detrol®
Detrol LA®
Tolterodine
Sanctura®Trospium
Enablex®Darifenacin
Vesicare®Solifenacin
Toviaz®Fesoterodine

Antidiuretics

Desmopressin is a man-made form of a natural hormone that your body makes. The hormone, called antidiuretic hormone (ADH) or vasopressin, directs the kidneys to make less urine. The urine is therefore more concentrated.

This medicine is sometimes used to treat women who make too much urine during the nighttime hours. However, it is more typically used to treat bedwetting in children and a condition called diabetes insipidus, a less serious type of diabetes.

Side Effects

Desmopressin can cause a dangerous drop in blood sodium. Call your doctor if you have headaches, stomach cramps, nausea, reddening of the skin, a stuffy or runny nose, or pain in the genital area.

Other Names for This Medicine
Brand NameGeneric Name
DDAVP®Desmopressin
Stimate Nasal Spray®Desmopressin

 

Antispasmodics

Antispasmodics suppress overactive muscle activity, which may be causing the bladder to contract during the filling stage.

Side Effects

Antispasmodics can cause your eyes to become sensitive to light. These medicines also keep you from sweating and can cause dry mouth. Myrbetriq works through a different pathway than the other medications and may cause an elevation in your blood pressure.If you take any of these medicines, you may need to take a few steps to deal with side effects.

  • Wear sunglasses if your eyes become more sensitive to light.
  • Take care not to become overheated.
  • Chew gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to avoid dry mouth.
  • Increase fiber in your diet or use a stool softener or osmotic laxative to help with constipation.

 

Other Names for This Medicine
Brand NameGeneric Name
Detrol®
Detrol LA®
Tolterodine
Tolterodine extended release form
Ditropan/Urotol®
Ditropan XL®
Oxytrol®
oxybutynin chloride
oxybutynin extended-release form
oxybutynin patch delivery system
Gelnique®oxybutynin chloride 10% gel
Anturol®oxybutynin chloride 3% gel
Enablex ®Darifenacin
Levsin®Hyoscyamine
Sanctura®
Sanctura XR®
trospium chloride
trospium chloride extended-release form
VESIcare®solifenacin succinate
Toviaz®fesoterodine fumarate
Myrbetriq®Mirabegron

 

Tricyclic Antidepressants

Exactly how tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) help control UI symptoms is not completely understood. We do know, however, that many of these drugs relax the smooth muscles of the bladder and contract the bladder neck muscles.

Side Effects

Since the amount prescribed for UI symptoms is lower than that used for treating mental health problems like depression, most women experience few of the side effects of TCAs.

Tricyclic antidepressants can cause your vision to blur when you read, dry mouth, constipation, and light-headedness when you stand after sitting.

 

Other Names for This Medicine
Brand NameGeneric Name
Elavil®Amitriptyline
Pamelor®Nortriptyline
Sinequan®Doxepin
Tofranil®Imipramine
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