Third-line therapy for overactive bladder in the elderly: Nuances and considerations.

Overactive bladder (OAB) disproportionally affects older adults in both incidence and severity. OAB pharmacotherapy is often problematic in the elderly due to polypharmacy, adverse side effect profiles and contraindications in the setting of multiple comorbidities, and concerns regarding the risk of incident dementia with anticholinergic use. The burden of OAB in older patients coupled with concerns surrounding pharmacotherapy options should motivate optimization of nonpharmacologic therapies in this population. At the same time, several aspects of aging may impact treatment efficacy and decision-making. This narrative review critically summarizes current evidence regarding third-line OAB therapy use in the elderly and discusses nuances and treatment considerations specific to the population.

We performed an extensive, nonsystematic evidence assessment of available literature via PubMed on onabotulinumtoxinA (BTX-A), sacral neuromodulation, and percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) for OAB, with a focus on study in elderly and frail populations.

While limited, available studies show all three third-line therapies are efficacious in older populations and there is no data to support one option over another. BTX-A likely has a higher risk of urinary tract infection and retention in older compared to younger populations, especially in the frail elderly. PTNS incurs the lowest risk, although adherence is poor, largely due to logistical burdens.

Advanced age and frailty should not preclude third-line therapy for refractory OAB, as available data support their efficacy and safety in these populations. Ultimately, treatment choices should be individualized and involve shared decision-making.

Neurourology and urodynamics. 2022 May 29 [Epub ahead of print]

Jacqueline Zillioux, Emily A Slopnick, Sandip P Vasavada

Department of Urology, Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

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