Treatment for Urinary Incontinence
A wide variety of urinary incontinence treatment options are available. Experts agree that no single option is perfect for everyone with incontinence. How the condition is treated depends on many factors, including the type of urinary incontinence you have, how serious it is, and what best fits your lifestyle.
Today, there are more ways to treat urinary incontinence than ever before. The plan you and your healthcare provider come up with will depend on:
- The type of urinary incontinence you have
- How serious it is
- What best fits your lifestyle.
Urinary incontinence treatment options fall into four broad categories:
- Behavioral therapy
- Nonsurgical devices
One option for treating urinary incontinence is medication. The following sections explain two of the more common categories of drugs used for this condition, based on type.
Urge Incontinence (Overactive Bladder) Medications
Medications approved to treat overactive bladder include:
All of these medications come in pill form, and oxybutynin is also available as a skin patch.
These drugs work in essentially the same way: decreasing urgency, frequency, and urge incontinence. They block the nerve impulses to the bladder that cause it to contract and leak. Side effects of these medicines include:
Enlarged Prostate Medications
Other drugs, called alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, may be prescribed for men with incontinence problems due to an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH for short).
Alpha-blockers relax the prostate and bladder neck, allowing improved urine flow; 5-alpha reductase inhibitors hinder the production of a male hormone believed to be responsible for prostate enlargement.
Examples of BPH medications include:
- Finasteride (Proscar®)
- Dutasteride (Avodart®)
- Doxazosin (Cardura®)
- Tamsulosin (Flomax®)
- Terazosin (Hytrin®)
- Prazosin (Minipress®)
- Alfuzosin (Uroxatral®)