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Thursday, March 30, 2017

oxybutynin and dementia

Concern over high US prescribing levels of common drug linked to dementia

MNT homePublished: 
A new analysis raises concern over high prescription rates in the USA of a common
drug used to treat overactive bladder. The drug, oxybutynin, when taken orally, is
consistently linked with cognitive impairment and dementia in the elderly. The analysis
shows that oxybutynin, is prescribed in more than a quarter of cases of overactive
bladder (27.3%), even though other more suitable drugs are available. This work is
presented at the European Association of Urology conference in London, where
concerns are also being expressed about the lack of funded alternatives to oxybutynin
in Europe.
Overactive bladder (OAB) is extremely common in persons over 65. Initial treatment
is normally via behavioural modifications, which can then be followed by first-line
medical treatment such as antimuscarinic medications, including oxybutynin. Antimuscarinic
drugs are synthetic compounds, originally derived from mushrooms, which block the
activity of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor. They have several uses, including
control of OAB. Oxybutynin is the least expensive antimuscarinic used for OAB, and
so tends to be the drug of choice for health care plans such as Medicare. However,
a body of evidence has shown that oxybutynin is linked to greater cognitive decline
in the elderly1./...

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