Drugs can be used to treat incontinence in patients who have undergone prostate cancer treatments. Treatment depends on the type, persistence and seriousness of incontinence. Depending on the type of incontinence, doctors may prescribe simple decongestants, antidepressant, or other drugs to help regain urinary retention.
For stress incontinence, decongestants
are often prescribed to tighten the urethral muscles.
Decongestants are also referred to as alpha-adrenergic
agonists. They contain ephedrine and pseudoephedrine,
which are commonly found in nonprescription decongestants
and appetite suppressants. Patients should not take
alpha-adrenergic agonists if they have high blood pressure,
heart disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or glaucoma.
Tricyclic antidepressant such as imipramine (Tofranil)
and amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Endep) may be prescribed
to tighten the bladder neck muscles. Patients should
not take tricyclic antidepressants if they have heart
disease. Side effects can include seizures, heart attacks,
high blood pressure, and allergic
For urge incontinence, anticholinergic agents – oxybutynin (Ditropan), hyoscyamine (Levbid, Cytospaz), or tolterodine (Detrol) are often prescribed to relax the bladder muscles, which delays the urge to urinate and allows the bladder to hold more urine. Reported side effects in older versions of these drugs include dry eyes and mouth, constipation, and rapid heartbeat. Newer versions may prove easier to tolerate. For overflow incontinence, many doctors are prescribing antiadrenergics such as pazosin, terazosin or doxazosin.
Several medications have been developed to treat incontinence; some by preventing unwanted bladder contractions, some by tightening the bladder or urethra muscles and some by relaxing bladder muscles. Many companies are testing new medications every day and finding promising results. Since there is a wide range of medications available, it is important to consult a physician to determine the type of incontinence and the best medication offered.