Incontinence Drug Doesn't Affect Memory
New Drug for Urinary Incontinence Has Fewer Cognitive Side Effects
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In a study involving 1,000 patients who took Enablex, presented March 26 at the 19th European Association of Urology Congress in Vienna, Austria, researchers reported a 77% reduction in the number of incontinence episodes that resulted in the changing of clothes or pads. That's comparable to the responses seen with the currently available overactive bladder medications.
In a separate report, researchers used computerized testing to compare the impact of Enablex on thinking and memory in 129 elderly overactive bladder patients. They found no measurable differences in memory or brain function between groups that received Enablex or a placebo pill.
Cognitive Problems Rare
But Wein says there have been few reports of thinking and memory problems linked to the currently available drugs.
He also says that these problems may be underreported because they are already so common among elderly patients who take these drugs. "These problems seem to be rare, but that may simply be because nobody has done the right studies on the right populations."
Urologist Gary Leach, MD, says he has seen little clinical evidence of thinking or memory problems associated with the available overactive bladder drugs. Leach is director of the Tower Urology Institute for Continence at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.
"I don't see cognitive impairment as a major issue with my patients, and I think that is typical of what is being seen in the general population of patients treated for overactive bladder," he says.