Update on Overactive Bladder Therapeutic Options

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American Journal of Therapeutics


BACKGROUND: Millions of Americans are burdened by overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome and the psychogenic and economic hardships that accompany it. Several theories attempt to explain OAB as a neurogenic dysfunction, myogenic dysfunction, urothelial dysfunction, or decreased expression of a channel protein secondary to bladder outlet obstruction. Given that the etiology of OAB is a working theory, the management of OAB is also an evolving subject matter in medicine. There are uncertainties surrounding the pathophysiology of OAB, the strength of a clinical diagnosis, and accurate reporting because of the disease's stigma and decreased use of health care. DATA SOURCES: This is a narrative review that used PubMed, Google Scholar, Medline, and ScienceDirect to review literature on current and future OAB therapies. RESULTS: Currently, first-line treatment for OAB is behavioral therapy that uses lifestyle modifications, bladder-control techniques, and psychotherapy. Second-line therapy includes antimuscarinic agents or beta 3 adrenergic agonists, and studies have shown that combination therapy with antimuscarinics and beta 3 adrenergic agonists provides even greater efficacy than monotherapy. Third-line therapies discussed include onabotulinumtoxinA, posterior tibial nerve stimulation, and sacral neuromodulation. OnabotulinumtoxinA has been FDA-approved as a nonpharmaceutical treatment option for refractory OAB with minimal side effects restricted to the urinary tract. Posterior tibial nerve modulation and sacral neuromodulation are successful in treating refractory OAB, but the costs and complication rates make them high-risk procedures. Therefore, surgical intervention should be a last resort. Estrogen therapy is effective in alleviating urinary incontinence in postmenopausal women, consistent with the association between estrogen deficiency and genitourinary syndrome. Potassium channel activators, voltage-gated calcium channel blockers, and phosphodiesterase inhibitors look to be promising options for the future of OAB management. As new therapies are developed, individuals with OAB can better personalize their treatment to maximize their quality of life and cost-effective care.

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