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Incontinence Community

Medications and Their Effects on Incontinence

Brooke Phillips, CWCMS
Editor | Shield HealthCare
05/17/19  12:21 PM PST
medications and their effects on incontinence

Original article by Prevail on Prevail.com

Although medications are not necessarily a factor in all incontinence, below is a breakdown of medications that may impact leaks.

Talk To Your Healthcare Provider About Medication Effects

The first step towards treatment of bladder leaks is a visit to your healthcare provider. They can evaluate your type of incontinence and assess how your current medications might be causing frequent urination and affecting your condition – especially if you’ve had a change in medication.

Don’t Be Shy

Nervous about opening up to your doctor? Remember that 25 million Americans experience leakage every single year, so you’re not alone – your healthcare provider has heard it all before and they know how to help, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed. They can be a trustworthy and supportive partner in your quest for the right treatment.

Which Medications Affect Bladder Control?

When it comes to incontinence, some medications improve symptoms while others can actually make them worse. Sometimes, the same medications can increase or reduce leaks – depending on the circumstances. You might take a medication for something completely unrelated to the bladder and still experience bladder-related side effects. That’s because some medications can be bladder irritants, which affect the performance of either the bladder or the bladder outlet muscle.

List of Medications

Here’s a breakdown of the different types of medications and their effects on bladder and bowel control. If any of these are part of your routine and you are managing incontinence or bladder-related issues, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider to find solutions.

MEDICATION TYPE BRAND/GENERIC NAME EFFECT  BLADDER SYMPTOMS
Diuretics (water pills) Hydrodiuril® (hydrochlorothiazide- HCTZ), Lasix® (furosemide), Maxzide®(HCTZ- triamterene) Increased urine production Frequent, urgent need to go to the bathroom, increased amount of urine output
Sedatives, muscle relaxants Valium (diazepam), Librium®(chlordiazepoxide, Ativan® (lorazepam) Sedation and drowsiness Possible lack of appreciation of bladder events (you might not know you need to go)
Narcotics Percocet® (oxycodone- APAP), Demerol®(meperidine), morphine Sedation, drowsiness, retention of urine because the bladder is relaxed or bladder outlet resistance is increased (you may not be able to go due to blockage) Lack of concern or desire to use the toilet, difficulty/straining when you start to pee, weak stream, bladder leaks between bathroom visits, having to go to the bathroom more frequently
Antihistamines – Antipsychotics/ Antidepressants – Calcium channel blockers Benadryl® (diphenhydramine) – Elavil®(amitriptyline), Prolixin® ( uphenazine), Haldol® (haloperidol), Prozac® ( uoxetine HCI) – Calan® (verapamil), Procardia®(nifedipine), Cardizem® (diltiazem) Retention of urine because the bladder is relaxed or bladder outlet resistance is increased (you may not be able to go due to blockage) Difficulty/straining when you start to pee, weak stream, bladder leaks between bathroom visits, urinary retention, having to go to the bathroom more frequently
Anticholinergics oxybutynin, tolterodine tartrate, trospium chloride Possible difficulty in passing urine due to relaxation of bladder muscle Possible decrease in bladder emptying, rarely urinary retention, your bladder always feels full – resulting in constant leakage and increased urgent trips to the bathroom
Alpha adrenergic agonist Entex®, Sudafed® (pseudoephedrine) Tightening of the bladder outlet muscle Urinary retention, meaning you don’t empty your bladder when it’s full, and when you do, the stream is weak
Over-the-counter cold remedies Nyquil®, Thera u®, Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Relief®, Afrin®, long acting nose drops Retention of urine, (meaning you don’t empty it when it’s full), either because your bladder is relaxed or the strength of the bladder outlet muscle is increased – this differs with different medications Retention of urine, (meaning you don’t empty it when it’s full), either because your bladder is relaxed or the strength of the bladder outlet muscle is increased – this differs with different medications
Alpha adrenergic antangonist Hytrin® (terazosin), Cardura®(doxazosin), Flomx® (tamsulosin) Relaxes the bladder outlet muscle Your bladder leaks when you cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise, etc.
DDAVP desmopressin acetate Decreases urine output made by your kidneys Possible decrease in blood levels of salts, and decreased urine production

Doctor Knows Best

Remember to ask your healthcare provider whether your current medications impact bladder control, and be sure to discuss how changing your medications could affect your bladder leaks.

Read original article on Prevail.com.

*Note: Though Shield HealthCare may share educational content provided by healthcare partners, this is not an endorsement of any manufacturer or product. Content provided is for educational purposes only.

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