Nine out of ten patients who discontinued their overactive bladder (OAB) medication said it was because it didn't work as expected or they couldn't tolerate it, according to research in the May issue of the urology journal BJUI.
US researchers also discovered that smokers, men with enlarged prostates and people with bladder infections are also significantly more likely to stop taking prescription drugs for bladder problems.
The team surveyed 6,577 adults who said in a National Family Opinion survey that they had been prescribed medication for OAB in the last 12 months and 82% responded.
They found that patients who had abandoned their medication were much more likely to be bothered by OAB symptoms than those who had persisted and more likely to have had a diagnosis for a condition such as OAB or incontinence.
A quarter of the 5,392 who responded had discontinued one or more of their OAB drugs in the last year, with the majority giving multiple reasons. Just under half (46%) said the medication didn't work as expected, 23% learnt to get by without medication and 21% reported side effects. Other reasons included cost, change of insurance status, not wanting to use medication, advice from healthcare professionals and health improvements. A quarter said they had switched to a new medication.
"Encouraging people with long-term health conditions to persist with medication is common and problematic" says Professor Linda Brubaker from Loyola University, Chicago, who co-authored the paper with urology colleagues from across the USA.
"Recent database studies suggest that the number of OAB patients who stop taking their medication is much higher than clinical trials would suggest.
"It is important to identify why people stop taking their medication as persistence with medication is generally associated with positive health outcomes and reductions in healthcare resource use and costs."
|Contact: Annette Whibley|