Prescribed by your doctor
Medications are available to treat your bladder leakage. As with any medication, there are side effects. Be sure to discuss with your care provider all potential side effects of the medication and be sure to share with your provider a list of all medications that you are currently taking.
- For urge incontinence, physicians often prescribe anticholinergic/antimuscarinics medications. These pills or patches block the nerves that trigger contraction in the bladder muscle and prevent bladder spasms. The most common side effects include dry mouth and constipation.
- Mirabegron (Myrbetriq®) is another medication used to treat incontinence by relaxing the bladder muscle and increasing the amount of urine the bladder may hold. Most common side effects include increased blood pressure, common cold symptoms, headache and urinary tract infection.
- For some women with stress incontinence, some antidepressants can limit leaks by tightening muscles at the neck of the bladder. Side effects of these medications may include reduced blood pressure, dry mouth and constipation.
Note: Medications do nothing to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, the leading cause of incontinence.
Another way to prevent leakage from stress incontinence is to inject synthetic bulking agents into the tissues around the urethra boosting the size of the urethra lining and creates resistance against the flow of urine from the bladder.
Injections must be repeated every 12 to 18 months and are only helpful against stress incontinence. Potential side effects include pain at injection site and or damage to the urethra.
Note: Bulking Agents treat Stress Urinary Incontinence only and do nothing to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
Neurotoxin Injection (Botox)
Neurotoxin (Botox®) is used for urge incontinence. Toxin is injected into the detrusor muscle (the muscle that surrounds the bladder) to limit the muscle’s ability to contract, thus diminishing the symptoms of urgency for a period of time. Injections must be completed with regularity, as the effects of the injection diminish.
Common side effects:
- Urinary retention (not being able to empty the bladder completely) which may require catheterization
- Urinary tract infection
- Hematuria (blood in the urine)
- Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
- Insomnia (difficulty getting to sleep and or staying asleep)
Note: Does not treat Stress Urinary Incontinence, no strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles.