Posted by: Thixia | January 17, 2009

Overactive Bladder 6 of 6

What other treatments are available for OAB?

 

Answered by our expert Jennifer Skelly, Nurse Continence Advisor

In addition to lifestyle changes and Kegel exercises, there are medications available for OAB.  These medications reduce the irritability of the bladder and help it to hold more urine for longer periods of time.  OAB medications come in two forms: long-acting medications that are taken once a day and short-acting medications that are taken twice a day.  Discuss with your family doctor which medication is best suited for you. 

 

Answered by our expert Dr.  Pommerville, Urologist

 

We’ve already discussed the use of lifestyle changes and Kegel exercises for managing OAB.  Another treatment option is medication.  The family of medications used to treat OAB is called antimuscarinics (also known as anticholinergics).

 

These medications block the effects of a chemical called acetylcholine, which normally causes the bladder muscle to contract.  This dampens the signal for the bladder to contract, leading to decreased urination frequency and urgency.

 

How long does it usually take for OAB treatments to work?

Answered by our expert Jennifer Skelly, Nurse Continence Advisor

This depends on the treatment.  If OAB is related to consuming too much caffeine, the impact of reducing caffeine intake should be seen fairly quickly, usually within a week or two.

 

Kegel exercises take at least 8 weeks to work.  Once you have reached the maximum benefit, doing Kegel exercises weekly will maintain the improvement for years to come.

 

Most medications take a minimum of 4 weeks to be effective, so it’s important to give them a chance before stopping them or switching to another product.

 

Answered by our expert Dr.  Pommerville, Urologist

This varies between treatments and also from person to person.  The most important thing to remember is: don’t give up.  Although it’s easy to get discouraged if your treatment doesn’t start working right away, stick with it.  For example, it can take anywhere from 4 weeks to up to 3 months to see the maximum benefits from medications.  If the treatment is not working well for you at this point, it may be time to switch to a different treatment.  Speak to your doctor if you have any questions about when your treatment should start to work. 

 

 

 

 

 

What can I do about dry mouth caused by my OAB medication?

 

Answered by our expert Jennifer Skelly, Nurse Continence Advisor

 

There are many ways to deal with dry mouth.  Increasing your fluid intake may help.  You may also try sucking on hard candy or chewing gum – preferably the sugar-free variety.  Dry mouth sprays are also available as another option.  As well, dry mouth is not as much of a problem with longer-acting medications.  Talk to your doctor for more information.

 

 

 

What can I do about constipation caused by my OAB medication?

 

Answered by our expert Jennifer Skelly, Nurse Continence Advisor

 

To deal with constipation, increase your fluid and fibre intake.  It’s also important to make sure you’re getting adequate exercise.  In some cases, you may need to consider using a stool softener on a regular basis.  Speak to your healthcare provider to find out whether this applies to you.

 

Answered by our expert Dr.  Pommerville, Urologist

 

Adding fibre to your diet, using mild stool softeners, and getting regular exercise can all help with constipation.  Switching to a different OAB medication may also help. 

 

Increasing your fluid intake may help with constipation but drinking too many fluids can aggravate OAB.  This doesn’t mean you should limit your fluid intake – just don’t overdo it by drinking too much fluid.

 

 

To learn more about how OAB can affect your life, visit www.overactivebladder.ca

 

 

 

 

 

Compliments of:
© 1996 – 2009 MediResource Inc.  – Targeted Health Solutions

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: