More than half of women discontinue overactive bladder meds after 6 months

January 1, 2009

More than half of women prescribed drugs for overactive bladder discontinue treatment after 6 months.

More than half of women prescribed anticholinergic drugs for lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of overactive bladder discontinued treatment after 6 months, suggesting poor adherence to treatment, researchers report in the December issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Manish Gopal, MD, and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia analyzed discontinuation rates of anticholinergic medications used to treat lower urinary tract symptoms using data from 49,419 episodes of anticholinergic therapy from 29,369 women in the United Kingdom.

The researchers found that women discontinued the drugs after a median of 4.76 months. At 6 months, 58.8% of women had discontinued treatment and 77.2% had discontinued after 1 year. At 6 months, 71% had discontinued oxybutynin, 57% had discontinued extended-release oxybutynin, 61% had discontinued tolterodine tartrate, and 54% had discontinued extended-release tolterodine tartrate, the report indicates. Women switched to another medication in 15.8% of episodes. There were an average of 1.65 treatment episodes and an average of 1.54 drug classes prescribed per patient, the authors report.

Gopal M, Haynes K, Bellamy SL, et al. Discontinuation rates of anticholinergic medications used for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;112:1311-1318.