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Urinary Incontinence in Men (cont.)


If your urinary incontinence is caused by prostatitis, a painful inflammation of the prostate gland, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. When the infection is cured, your incontinence should be cured also.

If your incontinence is caused by medicine you are taking, stopping or changing that medicine may be sufficient. But be sure to talk to your doctor before stopping or changing medicines.

Although some types of long-term (chronic) incontinence may be treated with medicine, the likelihood that medicines will improve your incontinence depends on the severity and cause of the problem. Some medicines that are used to treat incontinence may actually make the condition worse in men whose incontinence is caused by an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH). So consulting with a urologist is an important part of incontinence care.

Medication Choices

  • For overflow incontinence: If your overflow incontinence is caused by an enlarged prostate, medicines to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia may be prescribed. But these medicines do not always improve incontinence. For more information, see the topic Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
  • For urge incontinence:
    • Anticholinergic and antispasmodic medicines such as oxybutynin and tolterodine calm the nerves that control bladder muscles and increase bladder capacity. Taking an alpha-blocker medicine with an anticholinergic may help with symptoms of urge incontinence and overactive bladder better than either medicine alone.1, 2
    • Imipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant, which is usually used to treat depression but may also be used to treat urge incontinence. Imipramine causes the bladder muscle to relax while causing the muscles at the bladder neck to contract.
    • Duloxetine is a kind of antidepressant called a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). It changes how the brain uses certain brain chemicals. How it helps with bladder control is not yet known.
    • Botulinum toxin (Botox). Botox has been used in some cases to stop bladder contractions that cause urge incontinence. But Botox should only be used if other treatments haven't worked. Botox can cause serious side effects, including not being able to urinate at all.

Anticholinergic and tricyclic medicines may also be used to treat stress incontinence, especially if you have both stress and urge incontinence.

What to think about

For men with stress incontinence or urge incontinence, behavioral methods of treatment such as bladder training techniques are used in combination with medicine.

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