[Pharmacotherapy of urinary incontinence in the elderly]

The prevalence and the incidence of Urinary Incontinence is growing. Women suffer predominantly from stress and mixed urinary incontinence and men from urge incontinence. In elderly people, the pathophysiological and the physiological change in the lower urinary tract system must be considered as well as an underlying multimorbidity.

Stress urinary incontinence is among others caused by an insufficient urethral closure mechanism and urge incontinence is followed by unhibited detrusor contractions. Medical treatment is beside other important conservative options only one part of the treatment strategy in incontinence. Duloxetine, a serotonine-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitore can increase activity of the external urethral sphincter and is able to reduce incontinence episodes in up to 64 %. Antagonists of muscarinic receptors can reduce urgency, frequency and urge incontinence as well as increase bladder capacity significantly. In Germany, darifenacin, fesoterodin, oxybutynin, propiverine, solifenacin, tolterodine and trospium chloride are available to treat urge incontinence. The efficacy of these agents are almost comparable in the elderly with the exception of oxybutynin IR. However, tolerability is different and not well studied in the elderly population with the exception of fesoterodin. Side effects, especially dry mouth, dizziness and constipation often limit their use. None of the agents show ideal efficacy or tolerability in all patients. Last summer therefore a β3-agonist mirabegron was also introduced in Germany but was withdrawn.

Der Internist. 2016 Feb 17 [Epub ahead of print]

K F Becher

Abteilung Geriatrie und Frührehabilitation, HELIOS Hanseklinikum Stralsund, Große Parower Str.  47-53, 18435, Stralsund, Deutschland.