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New Drug May Help Leaky Bladders

Duloxetine reduces embarrassing episodes by 50 percent, study says

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 8, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Women bothered by bladder leakage could be helped by a drug in the final stages of development.

The drug, duloxetine, reduced the frequency of incontinence episodes by 50 percent, according to a study that appears in the October issue of the Journal of Urology. In addition, 62 percent of the women who used the drug say it improved their lifestyle.

Women participating in tests of the new drug suffer from what's called urinary stress incontinence, meaning accidental urine leakage results from an increase in abdominal pressure caused by laughing, sneezing, exercise or the like. This affects an estimated one in three American women over age 18.

The developers of the drug -- Eli Lilly and Co. and Boehringer Ingelheim -- say it blocks the absorption and retention of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the spinal cord, which in turn stimulates contraction of the urethral sphincter at the opening of the bladder, helping to prevent the leakage sparked by activity.

According to results of the study, which involved 683 American and Canadian women 22 to 84 years old, the drug produced similar results whether the women had an occasional or frequent problem with leakage.

Final approval for the drug has not yet been given by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about urinary incontinence.

SOURCE: Boehringer Ingelheim, news release, September 2003
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