Incontinence Prescriptions

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Question

Are there any medications available to treat incontinence?

Answer

A number of prescription medications have been developed to treat urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is defined as the involuntary leakage of urine. All are available as pills; one of the newer ones - oxybutynin - comes in a patch version. All incontinence medications work in much the same way by blocking nerve impulses to the bladder that make it contract and therefore leak.

Older people are indeed more likely to experience urinary incontinence due to age-related changes in the body, but people of any age may experience it for a variety of reasons. According to a 2004 survey from the National Association for Continence, women do not seek treatment until they've lived with their symptoms for an average of 6 1/2 years; men delay for around four years.

However, there's no need to suffer through urinary incontinence in silence. Talk to your doctor - even if you feel embarrassed or self-conscious. Depending on your particular situation, besides medication, incontinence can be treated in a variety of ways, from behavioral therapy to surgery. (There are four general types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence, urge incontinence, overflow incontinence, and functional incontinence.)

Visit our Health Encyclopedia for a brief article about urinary incontinence and an in-depth report.

Find more information about oxybutynin.

View incontinence products available on Walgreens.com.

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