Are Overactive Bladder Medications Right For You?

The condition known as overactive bladder affects many men and women around the world. If you are someone who suffers from this condition, there is hope. There are different kinds of overactive bladder medications and other treatments that can alleviate this condition. The first step is to see your doctor or urologist for an examination and diagnosis. There are a variety of tests that may be performed before a diagnosis of overactive bladder is reached. In order to determine the proper treatment, it is necessary to first determine the cause.

A simple test that can be done at home is the measuring of urine output and frequency. The doctor can give you a device commonly called a 'hat' that fits over your toilet seat. It catches urine and has measurement markers on it so you can document your urinary output. When recording this you should also write down the time. Usually the doctor will ask you to do this for 24 hours which gives them an accurate picture of your bathroom habits. By general definition, overactive bladder is a condition in which you urinate more than 8 times daily and possibly 2 or more times overnight.

There are other diagnostic tests that can be done as well. Imaging tests are done if bladder stones or a tumor is suspected. These can be performed via ultrasound machine or cystoscope, which is inserted into the bladder via the urethra. It is a tiny tube with a camera lens on the end to give a picture from inside the bladder. Bladder pressure and function tests may also be performed. The diagnostic procedures used will depend on your symptoms and the discretion of your physician or urologist. Once a diagnosis is reached, overactive bladder treatments will be discussed and your particular remedy will be based on the cause of the problem.

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Overactive bladder medications are sometimes prescribed. Some of them work by relaxing the bladder muscles. These medications are categorized as anticholinergics and include Detrol LA, Enablex, Ditropan XL, Vesicare and others. In some cases medication may be unnecessary and bladder exercises along with lifestyle changes will be recommended. For example, your doctor may have you practice holding the urge to go for a certain duration to strengthen control and limiting liquids after a certain time of day. In severe cases where there is a blockage such as a tumor or other potentially dangerous issue surgery may be required to correct the condition although this is quite rare.

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