News you can use

Exciting Updates from the American Urological Association Annual Meeting

Published on May 30, 2013 by Virginia Women's Center

By Lonny S. Green, M.D.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the American Urological Association annual meeting in early May. Attendees traveled to San Diego from around the globe to learn about the latest scientific breakthroughs for various urologic conditions. It was a stimulating conference with many new findings and reports. In this blog post, I would like to share information about a brand new type of medicine to treat overactive bladder (OAB) as well as positive follow-up data on a non-medicine office-based treatment for OAB.

First New Category of Medicine for OAB in Years

Mature women smilingApproved by the FDA for use earlier this year, Myrbetriq is a new category of drug for the treatment of frequency, urgency and urge incontinence – what is known as overactive bladder. Individuals who suffer from OAB may urinate too often, or have sudden urges to get to the bathroom with little warning time. If these individuals are unable to make it to the restroom in time, the leakage that ensues is called urge incontinence. Unlike prior medicines for OAB, which for some cause dry mouth, constipation or other side effects, Myrbetriq has not been found to cause these problems.

The FDA approval for Myrbetriq was based on three Phase III clinical trials. The studies enrolled more than 2,700 patients in 12 week, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. The studies were conducted on patients who were 94 percent Caucasian and 72 percent female, with a mean age of 59 years.

After 12 weeks, the studies showed that both the number of leakage episodes and the number of trips to the bathroom were reduced as compared to the placebo. In the three different studies presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting, Myrbetriq was found to demonstrate efficacy and tolerability, meaning that it worked well and had minimal side effects.

Non-Drug, Non-Surgery Office Treatment for OAB

A non-drug, non-surgery treatment option for OAB is called the Urgent® PC Neuromodulation System. In this office-based approach, a small electrode is placed near the ankle and gentle electrical stimulation is given to the nerves that run up to the bladder. For 12 weeks, patients come in weekly for 30 minute sessions. Urgent® PC is approved by the FDA and is covered by Medicare and by some, but not all, private insurers. The short term success rates have been very good and now there is longer term data that show the results stay that way.

A published study reported three year results with the Urgent® PC Neuromodulation System. After the initial weekly period of treatment, patients came in for therapy on average about once a month. The study indicated that about 77 percent of patients maintained moderate or marked improvement after three years.

Additional information about this study can be found here.

Stay tuned for part two of this blog post, where I will report on other new methods of treatment for OAB and the results of additional studies that were presented at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting. In the meantime, if you are suffering from overactive bladder, I encourage you to learn more about the available treatment options as they run the gamut and include exercises, diet and lifestyle modifications and medications.

Just like any medical condition, it’s important to make an appointment with your health care provider so that together, you can determine the best course of treatment based on your individual health and medical history. Don’t just assume the problem you are experiencing is a “normal” part of aging or something that women just have to “deal” with. In fact, many people with overactive bladder are under the age of 65. There are many treatment options available to help you get back to a full life with far fewer restroom breaks.