Overactive bladder syndrome is a urological condition that is characterized by urinary urgency, frequent urination, and urinary incontinence. This write-up provides information on the treatment of this condition through drug therapy.
Our kidneys, nerves, and bladder work in tandem to facilitate the filling and emptying of the bladder. While the kidneys produce urine, it is the bladder that stores urine. When one-third of the bladder gets filled with the urine, the nerve signals reach the brain, after which one feels an urge to urinate. As the bladder fills more, the urge to urinate gets even stronger. When the bladder muscle contracts, urine is flushed out of the system, and the pelvic floor muscles and the urethra relax. Overactive bladder syndrome is a condition wherein the process of filling and emptying of the bladder gets affected due to involuntary and uncontrolled bladder spasms or contractions. This condition gives rise to a wide variety of distressing symptoms and interferes with one’s ability to perform the daily activities. Though you could use some drugs that are available over the counter, it would be better to consult a urologist first.
Causes and Symptoms
The involuntary contractions of the muscles that surround the neck of the bladder could give rise to various symptoms. These include a strong urge to urinate, frequent urinatio, and sometimes urinary incontinence. Due to the involuntary leakage of urine, this condition is also referred to as urge incontinence. This condition could be caused due to disorders associated with the nervous system. Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetic neuropathy, stroke, and injury to the spinal cord could give rise tothis urological condition. Medical conditions affecting the kidney or the bladder might also be responsible for urge incontinence. While urinary tract infections could give rise to this condition in women, urge incontinence in men could be attributed to an enlarged prostate.
Drug therapy is one of the treatment options. Oxybutynin, tolterodine, propiverine, solifenacin and trospium chloride are some of the generic overactive bladder medications. These are all included in the class of drugs called anticholinergics. These medications obstruct the nerve impulses to the bladder, which in turn causes the bladder muscle to relax. Out of these drugs, tolterodine is believed to be one of the best drugs for both men and women. Though these drugs are available over the counter, a wiser option would be to consult a urologist and take them as per the prescribed dosage. You must also inform the doctor about any other drugs that you might be using, so as to eliminate the chances of an adverse drug interaction. It is extremely essential to complete the course. Though the use of such drugs might provide some relief and decrease the number of toilet trips and frequent and strong urge to urinate, you cannot rely on these drugs alone.
Better results have been observed when drug therapy is coupled with bladder training. Performing pelvic floor exercises would certainly prove beneficial. If drug therapy or performing bladder exercises doesn’t work, doctors might recommend a surgical procedure. Making certain changes to your lifestyle will also prove beneficial. It would be a good idea to make certain dietary changes. Cutting down on the intake of caffeinated drinks and alcohol will also provide relief. Following a particular schedule regarding fluid consumption is also an effective method of fluid management. Intermittent catheterization and use of bladder control supplies might also provide relief to those affected by this urological condition.
Those who are affected by glaucoma, gastrointestinal diseases, and urinary retention must not take these medications. Dry mouth, headaches, constipation, and blurred vision are some of the common side effects associated with the use of these drugs. Therefore, it is advisable to take these drugs only under medical supervision.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.