According to the Urology Care Foundation (link to ) approximately 33 million Americans have overactive bladder (OAB), with as many as 40% of women and 30% of men in the United States living with this condition.
Overactive bladder is actually a group of symptoms, the most common of which is the sudden uncontrollable urge to urinate. Some common symptoms of OAB include:
- Leaking urine when feeling the urge to urinate (known as incontinence)
- Sudden urge to urinate.
- Frequency – having to urinate too often
Many people with overactive bladder won’t speak to their doctor about it because they are embarrassed. This is so unfortunate because there is nothing to be ashamed of. OAB can make you feel isolated, cause you to miss out on social events because of feeling self-conscious, or even stop you from sleeping through the night because of the anxiety of having to get up frequently to use the washroom. Without treatment, OAB may not only make these feelings continue, but also, the delicate skin around the genitals may develop a rash and/or become prone to infections. Overactive bladder may also be a result of illness, urinary tract infection, or even a side effect of some prescription medications. Because of these reasons, speaking to your doctor is essential.
It’s important to note that stress urinary incontinence (SUI), which occurs when you leak urine with laughing or sneezing or with exercise is a completely different condition.
Here are some facts from the Urology Care Foundation:
- OAB is not a normal part of getting older.
- OAB is not just part of being a woman.
- There are treatments and medications available to help with symptoms of OAB.
One very effective medication for treating overactive bladder is Myrbetriq.
Myrbetriq is a prescription medication containing the active ingredient mirabegron. With overactive bladder, the bladder muscle contracts suddenly, even before your bladder is full, which causes that sudden urgent feeling that you need to urinate. Myrbetriq helps the smooth muscle around the bladder to relax, which helps the bladder’s ability to store urine, thereby reducing the urge to urinate frequently before your bladder is full.
Myrbetriq is produced by Astellas Pharma and comes in two strengths:
- 25 mg
- 50 mg
Myrbetriq is usually taken with or without food once a day as directed by your physician. This pill should never be crushed, chewed or split. Your dosage will be determined by your physician.
What are the side effects of Myrbetriq?
It’s very important to speak to your doctor about any other medication you may be taking if you are going to take Myrbetriq. Your doctor should monitor your blood pressure as Myrbetriq may increase your blood pressure or make your blood pressure worse if you already have a history of high blood pressure. Regular monitoring of your blood pressure is important.
Other common side effects may include:
- Dry mouth
- Back pain
- Urinary tract infection
- Flu-like symptoms
- Joint pain
- Cystitis (bladder inflammation)
Living with Overactive Bladder
While taking prescription Myrbetriq for overactive bladder is a smart step on your way to feeling better, there are some everyday lifestyle changes that you may want to include in your self-care regime.
- Avoid spicy foods and tomato products as they may irritate your bladder.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption.
- Don’t avoid drinking water! Speak to your doctor about how much water you should drink daily.
- Avoid soda and caffeinated beverages.
Thousands of people live with an overactive bladder and are using medications to help manage their symptoms. If you have symptoms of overactive bladder, do not hesitate to speak to your physician. There is nothing to feel bad or embarrassed about. By getting the prescription medication you need you will feel better and be able to get out and live a happier, healthier, active life.
Further information on Myrbetriqcan be found at the following link: Learn More
If you have questions about your prescription medications or any other medication, please contact Canada Online Health by calling toll free 1-800-399-DRUG (3784). One patient representative will be happy to assist you or transfer you to a licensed Canadian pharmacist for a free consultation.
This article contains medical information provided to help you better understand this particular medical condition or process, and may contain information about medication often used as part of a treatment plan prescribed by a doctor. It is not intended to be used as either a diagnosis or recommendation for treatment of your particular medical situation. If you are unwell, concerned about your physical or mental state, or are experiencing symptoms you should speak with your doctor or primary health care provider. If you are in medical distress please contact emergency services (such as 911).