Transdermal oxybutynin treats urge urinary incontinence with less side effects

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Last Updated: 2001-07-13 11:43:13 EDT (Reuters Health)

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – Transdermal delivery of oxybutynin is just as effective as oral delivery in treating urge urinary incontinence, and it has a better anticholinergic side-effect profile.

In a study reported in the July issue of The Journal of Urology, Dr. G. W. Davila, from the Cleveland Clinic Florida in Fort Lauderdale, and colleagues randomized 74 patients with urge urinary incontinence, previously treated with oral oxybutynin, to receive transdermal or oral oxybutynin after a 2-week washout period.

On average, subjects in both groups experienced roughly five fewer daily incontinence episodes after treatment was initiated, the authors report. The groups also showed similar improvements in urinary leakage as measured by visual analog scale.

Significantly fewer patients in the transdermal group (38%) than in the oral group (94%) experienced dry mouth, the researchers note. In addition, most transdermal oxybutynin-treated patients had mild or no skin erythema.

"Oral immediate release oxybutynin is accepted as first line standard treatment of patients with urge or mixed incontinence," the authors point out. Despite improvements in the oral formulations, "maintenance of efficacy with significantly reduced side effects remains an elusive goal," they explain.

"Transdermal oxybutynin for management of urge urinary incontinence represents an important potential therapeutic innovation," the investigators state. While the current findings are promising, "further studies will be needed to assess the safety and efficacy of long-term treatment," Dr. Davila's team concludes.

J Urol 2001;166:140-145.

-Westport Newsroom 203 319 2700

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