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Medicines That Can Cause, Contribute, Or Worsen Incontinence

medications-and-incontinence

Incontinence is a problem that can affect both men and women of all ages. It is known to occur due to various health-related complications and physical changes such as infections, menopause, prostate issues, childbirth, neurological disorders, etc. But if you are not suffering from any such problems and you are unable to make out the actual cause of such occurrences, take a stalk at your medicine cabinet. It might be the reason for such problems. Since drugs are frequently metabolized and passed through the urine, the lower urinary tract is more vulnerable to the adverse effects of certain medicines. If you suspect your medicines to be the cause of such incontinence problems, inform your doctor about the medicines that you are taking, both over the counter and prescription medicines. There are four groups of medicines doctors commonly prescribe that can cause, contribute, or worsen problems of incontinence.

Narcotic Pain Relievers and Antidepressants

While certain antidepressants like Elavil and Tofranil help improve urinary incontinence, there are a few that can worsen such conditions. Certain antidepressants worsen the ability of the bladder contract that ultimately results in partial emptying of the bladder. This worsens symptoms of overflow incontinence as the bladder cannot empty completely. There are other antidepressants that decrease the awareness of your need to go to the bathroom. Some even increase problems of constipation, which is a contributory factor for incontinence problems.

High Blood Pressure Drugs

Also referred to as alpha-blockers or alpha-adrenergic antagonists, high blood pressure drugs work by dilating the blood vessels for reducing blood pressure levels to normal. Drugs such as Minipress, Hytrin, and Cardura are often prescribed for men with urination problems. Alpha-Blockers can act as a relaxant for men with an enlarged prostate. It helps to relax the muscles in the bladder neck, thereby letting the urine to flow more easily. However, these drugs are more of an issue with females for relaxing the bladder.

Diuretics

Also referred to as “water pills,” diuretics reduce high blood pressure by flushing out the excess salt and water out from the kidney. Getting rid of excess fluid allows your heart to pump easily. Taking diuretic drugs means making more urine, which can worsen incontinence problems. Therefore, such medicine needs to be taken under proper medical supervision. The doctor often advises on emphasizing more on Kegel exercises that are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. If you are encountering nighttime incontinence problems, you might ask your physician to recommend taking diuretics in the morning.

Sleeping Pills

Research studies show that only about 10% of people with incontinence have problems with bed-wetting. Sleeping pills can worsen the situation as it decreases your awareness of the need to go to the bathroom while you are sleeping. In such cases, experts recommend other ways to improve sleep quality, such as maintaining a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule, indulging in more physical exercises, meditating, reading books, etc.

Bottom Line

Discussing your incontinence problem with your physician will help to find out the reason behind such a problem so that you can take the necessary steps in minimizing or restricting the cause of such occurrence.

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