Bladder Disorders Treatment Medication

A large number of drug therapies might be helpful for incontinence sufferers. The proper therapy, of course, depends on the diagnosed cause. Incontinence is often caused by a bladder infection — cures for this problem are readily available. Other medicines increase the patient’s ability to tighten the bladder sphincter. Below is a breakdown of various bladder control medicines, outlining what they are and how they fight incontinence.

Bladder Infection Cures

Bladder infections are often to blame for incontinence problems. Infections may be caused by blockages (kidney stones, bladder stones, or enlarged prostates) or catheter insertions. Women are significantly more likely to develop bladder infections, possibly because bacteria can more easily enter the female urinary system.

Whatever the cause, infected bladders can be treated with any of a long list of medications. Bladder infection cures are primarily antibiotics designed to kill the infecting bacteria. Antibiotics are administered for one to two weeks. Chronic infections may require longer treatment. It’s important to finish the treatment, to prevent recurrence of infections. Patients (usually women) who suffer from recurrent bladder infections are sometime put on a six-month treatment plan, where low doses of antibiotics such as TMP/SMZ or nitrofurantoin are administered.

Bladder Control Medicines

Medical experts generally recognize two types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Bladder control medicines vary, depending of the patient ‘s particular type of incontinence.

Stress incontinence involves lack of tone to the bladder sphincter. Common physical stresses such as exercise activity or even coughing can result in urine leaking passed the sphincter.

Drugs such as the alpha-adrenergic agonist family help the urinary sphincter maintain tone and contract with greater strength, thereby preventing urinary leakage.

Other drugs combat urge incontinence, in which the bladder contracts involuntarily, leading to a loss of bladder control and the release of large amounts of urine. Drugs such as oxybutynin, calcium channel blockers and tricyclic antidepressants all relax these involuntary contractions.

Older children who suffer from bedwetting are occasionally prescribed tricyclic antidepressants, but must be monitored closely for side effects. Desmopresin may also be prescribed: it reduces nighttime urine production.

Estrogen Therapy

Postmenopausal women suffering from bladder control problems may undergo estrogen therapy. The hormone estrogen plays a role in maintaining the strength and tone of the pelvic floor muscles in women. Menopause, and the accompanying reduction in the body’s estrogen levels, can lead to weakened pelvic muscles and stress incontinence. Estrogen therapy helps to reverse this trend.

Collagen Injections

Collagen injections are another option available to both men and women with bladder control problems. Collagen is injected into the walls of the urethra close to the urinary sphincter. This builds up the area around the sphincter, compressing the sphincter and making urine retention easier. A small number of people may have an allergic reaction to collagen. For this reason a small amount of collagen is injected into the skin several days prior to the procedure to test for an allergy.

Resources

Home Delivery Incontinent Supplies. (nd). Management techniques for incontinence. Retrieved February 27, 2002, from www.hdis.com/mgmt.asp.

Incontinence.org. (nd).Is there help for a person who leaks urine? Retrieved February 15, 2002, from www.incontinence.org/treatments/index.html.

National Institutes of Health. (1999). Causes and treatments for bladder control problems in women. Retrieved February 27, 2002, from www.healthlink.mcw.edu/article/943046979.html.

National Library of Medicine. (updated 2001). Stress incontinence. Retrieved February 15, 2002 from www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000891.htm.

UROlog.com. (nd). Bladder. Retrieved February 15, 2002, from www.urolog.nl/urolog/php/patients.php?doc=bladder