Overactive bladder drug linked to depression

By Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin Staff
Thursday, 06 April, 2017

A recent international study published in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that women who received antimuscarinics as part of treatment for overactive bladder were 38% more likely to be diagnosed with depressive disorder within the next 3 years than those who did not receive antimuscarinics.

“This population-based retrospective cohort study found that use of antimuscarinics was associated with subsequent depressive disorder in women with overactive bladder,” said Li-Ting Kao, senior author of study.

Although antimuscarinics can significantly depress bladder contractions and improve symptoms by blocking muscarinic receptors, studies have found that several unwanted side effects frequently occur when patients with an overactive bladder receive the drugs.

The cognitive effects (including memory loss) of antimuscarinic drugs in elderly patients are well established. One theory for the increased rate of side effects in elderly people is the increased blood-brain barrier permeability that can occur with advanced age and certain comorbidities may facilitate antimuscarinic access to the central nervous system.

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