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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Anon -
There are natural treatments including bladder training and pelvic floor exercises that don't involve any drugs. There is also a group of drugs called anticholinergics that treat this problem by blocking the nerve signals and reducing bladder muscle contractions. These drugs are also believed to increase bladder capacity and decrease the urge to go. Most people tolerate these drugs well. The main side effect is dry mouth, but anticholinergics also can cause constipation, blurred vision, and increased heartbeat. Anticholinergics aren't right for everyone. Some people with glaucoma, urinary retention, or gastrointestinal disease should avoid using them.

Another type of drug for overactive bladder is the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine hydrochloride (Tofranil), which also relaxes bladder muscles. In some cases, patients are finding relief from the use of Botox - a toxin produced by bacteria in the soil) and from capsaicin - the active ingredient in chili pepper which desensitizes nerves in the bladder.

There are several different kinds of surgeries that are used to treat stress incontinence but surgery is usually not done for urge incontinence. Complete bladder removal is usually only done in cases of bladder cancer.

Any type of surgery carries major risks, and is usually seen as a treatment of last resort. Have you discussed treatments for overactive bladder with your healthcare provider, or are you trying to figure out what to do on your own? A review of your medical history and perhaps even diagnostic tests would help pinpoint the cause and possible remedies. It would be helpful to have more information about your situation in order to assist you further. Will you please get back in touch?

January 1, 2010 - 6:05pm


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