, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 475-482

Pharmacotherapy of urinary incontinence

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Abstract

The pathophysiology of urinary incontinence (UI) involves an overactive detrusor (DOA) or an incompetent urethral sphincter. Therefore, the three most common types of UI are stress urinary incontinence (SUI), urge urinary incontinence (UUI), or a combination of stress and urge known as mixed urinary incontinence (MUI). Pharmacotherapy represents a recognized option for the treatment of different types of UI. A literature search of Medline publications on pharmacological treatment of urinary incontinence until 2008 was performed. Relevant data from recently published literature were included. Anticholinergics are the cornerstone of UUI treatment, whereas serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors represent an option for SUI treatment. A significant percentage of patients with UI, mainly those with UUI and MUI, can be treated successfully with pharmacotherapy.