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    Posted August 31, 2014 by
    Bradenton, Florida

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    Drugs that Can Lead to Urinary Incontinence


    Urinary incontinence occurs when urine leaks from your urethra, a tube that transports urine to your bladder. In other words, it is the involuntary passing of urine. Contrary to popular belief, there are many forms of urinary incontinence such as: overflow incontinence, urge incontinence, functional incontinence, and stress incontinence. Overflow incontinence occurs when your bladder does not properly empty, resulting in excessive urine leakages. Urge incontinence, also known an “overactive bladder” occurs when you have a strong urge to urinate. It is also common to “leak” with this type of urinary incontinence.


    Functional incontinence occurs as a result of a mental illness or physical disability that prevents you from urinating on a regular basis. Lastly, stress incontinence occurs when pressure is placed on your bladder. This condition can arise as a result of pregnancy, stimulants, structural defect, or a urinary tract infection. Although rarely mentioned, several drugs can interfere with bladder function, triggering or aggravating urinary incontinence. If you are experiencing urinary incontinence it is important that you contact your physician immediately.


    If you are wondering what drugs can cause urinary incontinence – you have come to the right place. This article will help you determine if the drugs you take can lead to a urinary condition.


    Listed below are drugs that can trigger or worsen urinary incontinence:




    Diuretics are typically prescribed to increase urination. According to The Merck Manual (2014), diuretics like: furosemide, bumetanide, and theophylline not only increase urination; they also increase your risk of urge incontinence. If your dosage is too high or you are allergic to this drug, it can cause an “overactive bladder.”


    Alcohol, Nicotine & Caffeine


    Stimulants like alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine can increase your risk of developing urinary incontinence. Alcohol produces diuretic effects in your body (i.e. urine production and output); therefore excessive amounts of alcohol can increase your need for bathroom breaks. Alcohol also interferes with motor coordination, perception, and judgment, which could prevent you from realizing that you need to urinate.


    Nicotine also has the ability to trigger or aggravate urinary incontinence. Nicotine can irritate your bladder, and cause you to cough, which in some people causes urine leakages. This occurs when the coughing causes your abdomen to descend on your bladder (pressure). Lastly, caffeine, which is commonly found in teas, chocolate, sodas, coffees and medications like Excedrin and Pamprin, can irritate your bladder, and cause strong, unexpected urges to urinate.


    Calcium-Channel Blockers


    Calcium-channel blockers like: nifedepine, diltiazem, and verapamil can prevent your detrusor muscle (a urinary muscle that ensures that all of the urine is emptied from you bladder by “squeezing” it during urination) from contracting properly. A dysfunctional detrusor muscle can lead to overflow incontinence and/or urinary retention.


    Antihistamines, Antidepressants & Antipsychotics


    Other drugs that can cause urinary incontinence include: antihistamines, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. A common side-effect associated with these medications is relaxed bladder wall muscles, which can prevent you from completely emptying your bladder, and lead to overflow incontinence and/or urine retention.




    Lastly, opioids like: morphine, oxycodone, opiates, and analgesics not only alter your awareness, affect your judgment/perception, interfere with motor coordination, and lower your inhibition; they also increase your risk of functional incontinence, overflow incontinence, and/or urinary retention.




    Mayo Clinic. (2014). Urinary incontinence. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases- conditions/urinary-incontinence/basics/definition/con-20037883


    Urology Partners (2014) Website analysis



    Mayo Clinic.(2014). Stress incontinence. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases- conditions/stress-incontinence/basics/definition/con-20027722


    Medline Plus. (2014). Urinary incontinence. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/urinaryincontinence.html


    The Merck Manual. (2014). Urinary incontinence. Retrieved from http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/incontinence_in_children/urinary _incontinence_in_children.html?qt=&sc=&alt=

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