Overactive Bladder (cont.)
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Overactive Bladder Medications
The most common group of medications used to treat overactive bladder are the anticholinergic drugs. These medications work by diminishing the activity of and relaxing the detrusor muscle. As a group, they have similar side effects, including dry mouth, blurry vision, constipation, and confusion, especially in the elderly. These drugs for OAB are taken by prescription only and should be taken under the supervision of the prescribing doctor.
The following are anticholinergic medications used for OAB:
Other than anticholinergic medications, occasionally antidepressant medications are used for treatment of overactive bladder. More specifically, duloxetine (Cymbalta) has shown some benefit in treating the urinary symptoms of overactive bladder, although it is currently not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose.
Estrogen preparations, orally or vaginally, are sometimes used in postmenopausal women with incontinence.
Some of the newer therapies for overactive bladder include Botox injection into the detrusor muscle. This has been used only experimentally with relative success in some people who otherwise have not responded to more traditional treatments for OAB. Again, Botox is not approved for this use by the FDA.
Herbal and natural remedies for overactive bladder have not been studied scientifically and even though they have been traditionally used for a long time, their effectiveness is greatly unknown. Some of the commonly used herbal therapies for overactive bladder are buchu (Barosma betulina), cleavers, corn silk, horsetail, saw palmetto, and gosha-jinki-gan. Despite availability of these natural and homeopathic therapies for overactive bladder, many experts recommend using them with caution and encourage reviewing these options with a naturopathic doctor.
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