Struggling with urinary incontinence? You’re not alone. In the United States alone, there are around 17 million people every year who are struggling along with you. Urinary incontinence can be embarrassing—whether you have to wear underwear liners or you just have to use the restroom very frequently, it can put a strain on your desire to want to socialize and put yourself out there. You may think you’ve tried everything: bladder training, double voiding (which means using the bathroom, waiting a few minutes, then trying to go again just in case), scheduling your trips to the bathroom when you’re out and about, and even dangerously limiting your fluid intake, which you should not do because hydration is the key to health. The good news is, there is another form of treatment available. There are effective urinary incontinence medications on the market, such as Enablex, Myrbetriq, and hormone medications like Flomax for men. If you suffer from urinary incontinence, read on to learn more about these life-changing treatments.
Darifenacin, also known as Enablex, is an antispasmodic medication that is used to treat overactive bladder. It relaxes the bladder muscles, which makes it easier for you to control. It also reduces urine leakage, urgency to urinate, and how frequently you’d need to go to the bathroom. It is taken by mouth, and doctors usually prescribe for it to be taken once a day. It should absolutely be swallowed whole, and not chewed or crushed. It should also be taken at the same time every day. Side effects include dry mouth, constipation, nausea, stomach pain or discomfort, blurred vision, and dizziness. If your doctor prescribes this medication, let them know right away if you experience difficulty urinating, signs of kidney infection, or constipation for three or more days.
Mirabegron, more commonly known on the market as its brand name Myrbetriq, is another medication that treats overactive bladder. It works by relaxing a specific bladder muscle known as the detrusor, which is the muscle that helps the bladder be more effective and hold more urine. When that muscle is tight or strained, the bladder can hold less urine and the symptoms of overactive bladder appear. It should be taken whole, as crushing or chewing could release all of the medication at the same time, which makes it less effective. There are different dosages for this medication, so you should keep communicating with your doctor if you feel your dose is not effective as it may just need to be adjusted.
Finally, hormone medications can also help. Women can take estrogen supplements and should talk with their doctor to find out which one to take and how much. Men can take an alpha-blocker known as tamsulosin or Flomax. This drug relaxes the muscles in the prostate and the bladder, so men who suffer from both enlarged prostate and urinary incontinence may find this drug particularly helpful. This drug may cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, which could be dangerous as it can cause dizziness or fainting, so make sure to tell your doctor if you have a history of blood pressure disorders or if you are on any medications that affect blood pressure. This drug, while effective, does take time to build up in your system (it may take up to four weeks), so try to see your doctor right away to get started on a medication for your urinary incontinence.