Product News and Recalls

Medications available for urinary incontinence

According to the Mayo Clinic, the underlying cause and severity of urinary incontinence determine what type of treatment may be most appropriate.

Medication is often used in conjunction with behavioral techniques, such as bladder training, scheduled bathroom trips and fluid and diet management. While there are pros and cons to different types of treatment, one in particular has proven to be dangerous for many patients.

Transvaginal mesh implants, marketed as a treatment for urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, have generated thousands of lawsuits over their tendency to fail and cause health problems. The most common reported problem is the vaginal mesh eroding and sticking through the walls of the bladder and vagina, causing severe pain.

In the first of about 11,000 lawsuits against vaginal mesh manufacturers to go to trial, a New Jersey jury recently awarded $11.1 million to a woman who received a mesh implant manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following types of medications may be used to treat the condition:

Anticholinergics are prescription medications meant to calm an overactive bladder. They may be helpful for “urge incontinence,” characterized by a sudden, intense urge to urinate, followed by an involuntary loss of urine. Drugs that fall under this category include oxybutynin (Ditropan), tolterodine (Detrol), darifenacin (Enablex), fesoterodine (Toviaz), solifenacin (Vesicare) and trospium (Sanctura). Possible side effects include dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision and flushing.

Topical estrogen may be applied in low doses in the form of a vaginal cream, ring or patch. That may help tone and rejuvenate tissues in the urethra and vaginal areas, thus reducing some of the symptoms of incontinence.

Imipramine, or Tofranil, is a tricyclic antidepressant that may be used to treat “mixed” symptoms that includes both urge incontinence and “stress” incontinence triggered by pressure exerted on the bladder through coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy.

Duloxetine, or Cymbalta, in an antidepressant medication sometimes used to treat stress incontinence.

This information is provided for general information only, and should not be considered medical advice. If you have any health concerns, you should consult with a doctor. If you have significant injuries from a mesh implant, you should also consult with a mesh lawyer to discuss your legal rights.