Pharmacological Treatments

Resorting to pharmacological treatments (the use of medications or prescription drugs) is pretty common for incontinence. They can help people dealing with incontinence to a varying extent, making the symptoms disappear completely in some cases. There are many drugs that can help, and for all types of incontinence. Your doctor knows them well and may decide to try one of the most common ones to start with but, like for most diseases, they have several alternatives if they need it.

If your doctor decides to try one of them, make sure to ask your pharmacist not only how to take it, but also the side effects (get a printout of them if you can). Your pharmacist knows them very well and should be able to answer all your questions.

Many of the drugs prescribed for incontinence have side effects like dry mouth and constipation (especially drugs used to treat urge incontinence). The side effects can be somewhat distressing, and some people end up limiting or discontinuing using them. If the side effects are too strong, your doctor may decide to try something else instead.

If you get constipation, it's a good idea to increase your fluid and fiber intake. You can also consider taking a bulking agent (such as Metamucil). Avoid taking laxatives on a regular basis, you should talk to your doctor about other ways to manage your constipation.

Hormone replacement therapy may be used in postmenopausal women with stress and urge incontinence.

Also, it's good to know that while drugs can help dealing with incontinence, but in some cases, they can also worsen or cause incontinence!


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