New report questions efficacy of bladder meds

September 18, 2006

A new report from Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs

A new report from Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs, “Gotta Go Right Now,” has found that drugs used to treat overactive bladder are only modestly effective and have troubling side effects. Based on medical evidence set forth by the Drug Effectiveness Review Project, a 15-state initiative that compares drugs on effectiveness and safety for state Medicaid programs, the report found that of oxybutynin, tolterodine (Detrol, Pfizer), trospium (Sanctura, Indevus), solifenacin (Vesicare, Astellas), or darifenacin (Enablex, Novartis), none was more effective than another. In addition, on average, patients taking these drugs could only expect the number of trips to the bathroom to decrease from 12 to seven to 10 trips per day, with highly variable response. During studies, more than half the patients using the drugs had to discontinue their use, according to the report, due to side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, and mental confusion. Manufacturers contacted were unavailable for comment on the new findings.

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