, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 12-15
Date: 30 Aug 2012

Older pharmacological therapies for stress urinary incontinence are often unreliable, but duloxetine is a promising new option

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Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) affects a substantial proportion of women. Non-pharmacological approaches, such as surgery for women willing to undergo an invasive procedure, or pelvic floor exercises in highly motivated individuals, can be useful treatment options. Drug therapy with older agents (e.g. α-agonists, estrogens) has generally provided disappointing results and/or adverse events, although some women benefit from such treatment. Duloxetine, a balanced dual serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, reduced the frequency of incontinence episodes and improved quality of life in clinical trials in women with SUI.

A common problem for women

Approximately one-third of women are thought to have at least occasional symptoms of urinary incontinence, although many do not seek medical care.[1,2] Stress urinary incontinence (SUI), which is the involuntary leakage of urine associated with physical activities (e.g. running, jumping, lifting), sneezing or coughing, is the most commo