Call us directly: +44 (0) 30 0302 0202

Emmanuel Kaye House View Location


Medications for overactive bladder


The main cause of overactive bladder(OAB) is involuntary contractions of the muscle in the bladder wall (also known as the detrusor muscle). Medications known as anticholinergic are the main medication option for OAB.


Anticholinergics medicines are used in the UK include:2013-03-12 08.27.50

  • Darifenacin (Emselex)
  • Flavoxate (Urispas)
  • Oxybutynin (Cystrin, Ditropan, Kentera patches, Lyrinel XL)
  • Propiverine (Detrunorm)
  • Solifenacin (Vesicare)
  • Tolterodine (Detrusitol, Detrusitol XL)
  • Trospium (Regurin).


How they work

Anticholinergics are thought to work by dampening down the nerve signals from the brain to the detrusor muscle preventing spasm of the detrusor muscle thereby reducing the amount of involuntary contractions. This in turn will help to reduce visits to the toilet, the strong sudden urges to go, and the number of urine leaks.

How effective is medication in the treatment of overactive bladder

Medication can be very effective in the treatment of OAB .Though your symptoms may never completely go away (there’s no “cure” for overactive bladder), significant improvement is a reasonable goal

In general Anticholinergics medications can reduce leakage of urine caused by OAB by 60% to 75% Sometimes medication may be used in conjunction with other treatments.

Results will not be immediate once you start your treatment as with most treatments for overactive bladder treatments to work, you have to persevere with them.

To help establish how effective medication is in treating your symptoms your treatment, think about and make a note how much a certain symptom bothers you at the start of treatment, and then see how much it bothers you after several weeks of treatment.

It may also be advisable that you keep a bladder diary to record how many times you go to the toilet each day

Mr Ockrim will be able to advise you about the best way to keep track of your symptoms.


Please click here to download a Voiding Diary


Side effects of medication for over active bladder and how to manage them

The most common side effects of these medications are

Dry Mouth

Anticholinergics can cause a dry mouth drinking more only stops the symptoms of a dry mouth for a little while.

To reduce the feeling of a dry mouth chewing gum or sucking a sweet may help


To prevent and manage constipation, try increasing the amount of fibre in your diet and getting more exercise

As with any medication, anticholinergics may interact with other medications. Always make sure you tell your doctor all the medications you are taking (including non-prescription and herbal medications). and all of your medical conditions, as there are some people who should not take these medications


Urinary Tract Infection Medications

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection of any part of the urinary tract and falls into two categories

Upper urinary tract infections affect the kidneys and the ureters (the tubes that take urine from each kidney to the bladder) known as pyelonephritis (a kidney infection)

More common are lower urinary tract infections which affect the bladder, or the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder to the outside)., infections which  affect the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra) are known as cystitis (bladder infection).

Symptoms from a lower urinary tract may include a burning sensation when voiding usually accompanied by the need for  frequent urination or urge to urinate)

Upper urinary tract infections are more serious and require urgent medical treatment symptoms include fever and flank pain in addition to the symptoms of a lower UTI

Simple lower urinary tract infections are easily treated with a short course of antibiotics.

Upper urinary tract infections usually require a  longer course of antibiotics  or may require having to be admitted to hospital  for a course of  intravenous antibiotics .

It is very important to take the full course of antibiotics . Even if you feel better. If you do not take all of your medicine as prescribed, the infection may return. Not taking the full course of antibiotics also encourages the development of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. This makes antibiotics less effective. And it makes bacterial infections harder to treat.