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What are the Different Types of Bladder Control Medications?

Anna T.
Anna T.

There are several different types of bladder control medications. The most commonly used medicines for bladder control include anticholinergic drugs, estrogen, and imipramine. Doctors normally determine what type of bladder control medications to prescribe depending on what is causing bladder issues. Some people have problems with bladder control due to aging, while other might experience it because of stress. Doctors might also treat children with bladder control medicine if they are having serious problems with bed wetting.

Anticholinergic drugs are designed to treat problems with the bladder that make people feel regular urges to urinate when their bladders aren't actually full. There is a chemical inside the brain that sends the signal to the bladder that urination is needed, and anticholinergic drugs can block this chemical. Anticholinergic drugs often make it much easier for people who suffer from urinary urgency bladder control issues to get through their days without problems. It is possible to attain these drugs through prescription, and they are normally in the form of either pills or skin patches.

A cutaway of a female body showing the bladder in dark pink.
A cutaway of a female body showing the bladder in dark pink.

Estrogen is something that many women who suffer from bladder control problems as a result of menopause use regularly. Doctors often recommend estrogen bladder control medications for menopausal women because, during menopause, the amount of blood flowing to the wall between the bladder and the urethra typically decreases, which makes the tissues of this wall thinner and weaker. Estrogen can potentially help to build these tissues back up by promoting more blood flow to the area. Estrogen for bladder control often comes in topical cream form, and women are usually instructed to apply it a few times per day to help relieve their symptoms. Sometimes doctors have to prescribe other bladder control medications in addition to estrogen because it may not be strong enough on its own to make a lot of difference.

There are a number of different types of bladder control medications.
There are a number of different types of bladder control medications.

Imipramine is another popular bladder control drug that is actually an antidepressant. Doctors often prescribe imipramine for bladder control problems related to stress and occasionally for children who wet the bed during the night. Imipramine works by helping the bladder muscles relax while a person sleeps, which should reduce the need to urinate frequently. Another advantage of imipramine is that it tends to make people drowsy, so it might be possible to get a better night's sleep while taking it as well. Imipramine might cause some serious side effects, including low blood pressure and rapid heartbeat, so it should not be given to children to help with bed wetting unless a doctor approves it first.

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