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Below is a list of frequently asked questions about medications and treatment for overactive bladder (OAB). Be sure to talk to your doctor for more information.
How do I know if I have OAB?
If you have symptoms of OAB, your doctor is the best person to examine and make a diagnosis. Symptoms may include frequent, sudden urges to go to the bathroom, often going more than 8 times in 24 hours, or worrying about wetting accidents.
How long will it take for the medications to begin working?
Sometimes it may take several weeks of taking medication before you notice results. Different people respond in different ways to treatment. If you've been living with OAB, your body may have grown used to more frequent toilet visits. Some people begin to notice results as early as the first week of taking medication, others may need time to retrain their bladder, physically and mentally. In studies with OAB medicines, most patients got the best results after several weeks. There are bladder exercises and training regimes that can that help in addition to taking medication. See our section on help for OAB for further information.
How long will I have to take medication for OAB?
There is no cure for OAB. However, some medications your doctor prescribes can reduce symptoms, like frequent, strong, sudden urges to go. So be sure you understand and follow the recommended dosage and advice from your doctor. If you stop taking your medication your symptoms will likely return.
Is there an effective treatment for OAB?
Tolterodine tartrate is an effective medication for OAB that is currently available. If your doctor has prescribed, be sure to follow his or her instructions for how to take it. It is usually one pill once a day, every day. Studies have shown that this gives the best results. Tolterodine tartrate can be taken at any time of day. Try to take it at the same time each day so you don't forget. Other forms of treatment include oxybutynin. Oestrogen, when used in conjunction with other OAB medications, is sometimes helpful for postmenopausal women with OAB.
Can OAB medication be used by elderly people?
Medications may be given to people with OAB aged 18 years old and older. However, only a doctor can tell you what treatment is right for you.
Can I take OAB medication while also taking other medicines?
You should always tell your doctor about all other medications and supplements you are taking, at the time of discussing OAB problems.
What if I forget to take one of my pills?
Almost everyone forgets to take medicine now and then. But the more you forget, the more you risk reducing how well the medication works. You should make every effort to take your medication as prescribed. However, if you forget to take a pill, don't double your next dose. Just take the regular dose at your next scheduled time.