Font Size

Understanding Bladder Control Medications (cont.)

Alpha-Adrenergic Stimulators

This class of drugs includes midodrine (Pro-Amatine) and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). Alpha-adrenergic drugs mimic actions of the sympathetic nervous system, which controls various involuntary body functions. Although not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in bladder control problems, these drugs have been prescribed to treat stress incontinence.

  • How alpha-adrenergic stimulators work: These drugs help the bladder to retain urine by constricting the sphincter muscle and relaxing the bladder wall. These actions reduce urine leakage due to abrupt increases in pressure on the bladder, such as, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or bearing down.
  • Who should not use these medications: Individuals with the following conditions should not use alpha-adrenergic stimulators:
  • Use: Alpha-adrenergic stimulators are available as tablets and capsules. The amount and number of doses per day varies, depending on the particular drug.
  • Drug or food interactions: These drugs may counteract the effect of high blood pressure therapy. Do not use within two weeks of taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as phenelzine (Nardil), pargyline (Eutonyl), nialamide (Espril, Niamid), moclobemide (Aurorix, Manerix), procarbazine (Matulane), or isocarboxazid (Enerzer, Marplan). Extreme increases in blood pressure have occurred when combined with MAOIs.
  • Side effects: Alpha-adrenergic stimulators may increase blood pressure, cause insomnia, and/or aggravate conditions such as diabetes, heart-rhythm disturbances, heart disease, glaucoma, or enlarged prostate.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/3/2015
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Understanding Bladder Control Medications

Bladder Control Problems
Bladder Control Problems Bladder control problems, or urinary incontinence, affect over 13 million people in the U.S. Causes include urinary tract infection, overactive bladder, blocked...learn more >>
Incontinence Urinary incontinence is when there's an involuntary loss of urine. There are many types of incontinence, including urge incontinence (overactive bladder), mixed...learn more >>
Incontinence FAQs
Incontinence FAQs Get answers to frequently asked questions about urinary incontinence types, causes, health factors, symptoms, tests, treatment, and exercises to strengthen the ...learn more >>

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Bladder Management »

In the practice of physical medicine and rehabilitation, voiding disorders are usually a result of neurologic conditions, such as spinal cord injury (SCI) or disease, cerebrovascular accident (CVA), traumatic brain injury (TBI), multiple sclerosis (MS), or dementia.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary