Bladder health 411: The truth about overactive bladder
Posted: January 28, 2020 | Word Count: 1,178
You get that urge to pee and you know it's time to go. You find the nearest restroom and then continue on your day. Not much later though, you feel that same urge. Once again, you go to the restroom. This happens again and again and you're starting to feel like your bladder is trying to tell you something.
Many people ignore their bladder symptoms or believe their symptoms are a normal part of aging, although this is not always the case.1 If you feel like you're making more trips to the bathroom to urinate than normal, you may have overactive bladder (OAB). This condition is more common than you think.2
OAB occurs when the muscles surrounding your bladder contract even when your bladder is not full.3 This may cause you to experience symptoms of OAB, which are urgency, frequency and leakage.4
- Urgency can be defined as feeling a strong need to urinate that is difficult to control.4
- Frequency means that you need to urinate too often (usually eight or more times a day).4
- Leakage, or incontinence, is accidentally urinating after a sudden, uncontrollable urge.4
Get the facts about OAB and talk with your doctor if you think you or a loved one is impacted by this condition.
Fact: OAB impacts women and men
According to the American Urological Association, OAB occurs in both men and women, may affect your daily activities due to lack of bladder control and can cause embarrassment.4 While OAB impacts both sexes, it does impact more women than men.
Fact: OAB is common
Approximately one in three Americans age 40 and older have reported symptoms of urgency, frequency or leakage at least sometimes.5 Despite the prevalence of OAB symptoms, many people are reluctant to seek support from health care professionals or loved ones because bladder issues are a stigmatized topic and can cause embarrassment.5 Finding the courage to have an open conversation with your doctor can help you work together to find ways to manage your symptoms.
Even confiding in close friends or family can enable them to understand your challenges and help you feel supported.
Fact: You can be screened for OAB
Practice guidelines issued by the Women’s Preventative Services Initiative recommend women be screened each year for urinary incontinence.6 Speak with your doctor about any concerns you may have and ask about screening. Before your appointment it can be helpful to keep a bladder diary for a few days so the doctor can get a more detailed understanding of your bathroom trips. In this diary, record when you go to the bathroom each day, the level of urgency in having to go (low, medium or high) and what you were doing when you felt the urge to go. It can also be helpful to record when and what you are drinking and eating throughout the day.
Fact: Treatment options are available to help manage OAB symptoms
Following a full evaluation, your doctor may recommend behavioral or lifestyle modifications to help manage your symptoms, like changes to your diet or exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor.4 In some cases, a medication may be appropriate. Marilyn, a 72-year-old retired insurance agent from Arkansas, says her doctor prescribed a treatment option called Myrbetriq® (mirabegron). Myrbetriq, a prescription medication for adults used to treat the overactive bladder symptoms of urgency, frequency and leakage, works to increase bladder capacity by helping to relax the smooth muscle that surrounds the bladder.7
“Being able to participate in activities that are important to me with fewer bathroom interruptions is a goal of mine,” says Marilyn.
A qualified health care professional can evaluate any changes to your bladder health and recommend the appropriate course of treatment to best meet your needs.
Use of Myrbetriq
Myrbetriq® (mirabegron) is a prescription medicine for adults used to treat overactive bladder (OAB) with symptoms of urgency, frequency and leakage.
Important Safety Information
Myrbetriq is not for everyone. Do not take Myrbetriq if you have an allergy to mirabegron or any ingredients in Myrbetriq. Myrbetriq may cause your blood pressure to increase or make your blood pressure worse if you have a history of high blood pressure. It is recommended that your doctor check your blood pressure while you are taking Myrbetriq. Myrbetriq may increase your chances of not being able to empty your bladder. Tell your doctor right away if you have trouble emptying your bladder or you have a weak urine stream.
Myrbetriq may cause allergic reactions that may be serious. If you experience swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue, with or without difficulty breathing, stop taking Myrbetriq and tell your doctor right away.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including medications for overactive bladder or other medicines such as thioridazine (Mellaril™ and Mellaril-S™), flecainide (Tambocor®), propafenone (Rythmol®), digoxin (Lanoxin®) or solifenacin succinate (VESIcare®). Myrbetriq may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how Myrbetriq works.
Before taking Myrbetriq, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney problems. The most common side effects of Myrbetriq include increased blood pressure, common cold symptoms (nasopharyngitis), dry mouth, flu symptoms, urinary tract infection, back pain, dizziness, joint pain, headache, constipation, sinus irritation, and inflammation of the bladder (cystitis).
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Visit www.myrbetriq.com for more information about the condition and to learn about a possible treatment option.
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. This article is sponsored by Astellas.
Myrbetriq® is a registered trademark of Astellas Pharma Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
© 2019 Astellas Pharma US, Inc. All rights reserved.
1 MacDiarmid S. Maximizing the Treatment of Overactive Bladder in the Elderly. Rev Urol 2008;10(1):6-13.
2 Reynolds Stuart W, Fowke J, Dmochowski R. The burden of overactive bladder on US public health. Curr Bladder Dysfunc Rep 2016; 11:(8-13).
3 Mayo Clinic. Overactive bladder: symptoms and causes (03-10-2018). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/overactive-bladder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355715. Accessed 05-02-2019.
4 Gormley EA, Lightner DJ, Burgio KL, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of overactive bladder (non-neurogenic) in adults: AUA/SUFU guideline. American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. 2019.
5 Coyne KS, Sexton CC, Vats V, Thompson C, Kopp ZS, Milsom I. National community prevalence of overactive bladder in the United States stratified by sex and age. Urology 2011;77(5):1081-7.
6 O’Reilly Nancy, Nelson Heidi, Conry Jeanne, Frost Jennifer, et al. Screening for Urinary Incontinence in Women: A Recommendation From the Women's Preventive Services Initiative. Annals of Internal Medicine 2018; 169(5):320329.
7 FDA. Myrbetriq (mirabegron) Full Prescribing Information (04-2018).
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/202611s011lbl.pdf. Accessed 10-28-2019.