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Frequent Urination (cont.)

Medical Treatment

The treatment for frequent urination depends upon underlying cause.

  • Urinary tract infection: The doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Drinking plenty of fluids is recommended.
  • Diabetes: When blood sugar levels get very high, frequent urination is often one of the first symptoms. Treatment for frequent urination in diabetics involves close management of blood sugar levels.
  • Diuretic use: Ask your doctor if you can take your diuretics in the morning, or less frequently. This may cause less trips to the bathroom at night (nocturia).
  • Prostate problems: Problems with the prostate are usually treated by a specialist called a urologist. There are two common drug types prescribed for enlarged prostate: 5ARIs (5-alpha-reductase inhibitors), which reduce the level of the hormone that causes the prostate to grow, and alpha blockers, which relax the smooth muscle cells, including the bladder. Surgery may also be considered to treat prostate problems.
  • Pregnancy: Frequent urination often accompanies pregnancy. There may not be much that can be done to reduce frequent urination, especially later in the pregnancy. Reduce consumption of diuretic fluids that contain caffeine, such as tea, soda or coffee, however, do not reduce overall fluid intake, as it is important to stay hydrated while pregnant. Consume most fluids during the day to reduce nighttime trips to the bathroom. When using the bathroom, it may help to lean forward slightly to help completely empty out the bladder.
  • Interstitial cystitis: This condition usually requires treatment by a urologist who specializes in interstitial cystitis. It may be treated medically with medications, including drug pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron), tricyclic antidepressants, pain medications or antihistamines. Surgical treatment may be necessary.
  • Stroke or other neurological diseases: Depending upon the cause, the urinary frequency may be treated with medication or behavioral therapy, such as bladder retraining (see below).
  • Bladder cancer: Treatment for bladder cancer should be directed by a urologist. It may involve surgery,  chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Overactive bladder syndrome: The first-line treatment for overactive bladder syndrome usually involves bladder retraining (see below). Treatment also may include drugs such as tolterodine (Detrol LA), oral oxybutynin (Ditropan), darifenacin (Enablex), transdermal oxybutynin (Oxytrol), trospium (Sanctura XR),  solifenacin (VESIcare), mirabegron (Myrbetriq), or onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox). Treatments that involve nerve stimulation include percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) and sacral nerve stimulation (SNS).
  • Artificial sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine and other foods: Avoid foods and beverages that irritate your bladder or act as a diuretic.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/3/2014

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