Depression drug is a possible new treatment for women suffering from daily incontinence.


Duloxetine, a serotonin-noradrenalin reuptake inhibitor, may be an effective treatment for women with symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB). Duloxetine is marketed as Cymbalta for treating depression and diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

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Researchers randomly assigned 306 women (aged 21-84 years) with OAB to receive either placebo or duloxetine (40 mg twice daily, escalated to 60 mg twice daily after four weeks) for 12 weeks. The main outcome measure was the average number of micturition episodes per 24 hours.


Compared with placebo recipients, the duloxetine group experienced significant reductions in micturition and incontinence episodes, increases in daytime mean time between voids, and improvement in quality of life, the investigators reported at the International Continence Society annual meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand.


The duloxetine group had average decreases of 1.49 and 1.90 micturition episodes per day at the 40 and 60 mg twice daily doses, respectively, compared with decreases of 0.43 and 0.82 episodes in the placebo arm (the two figures correspond to the two dosage periods in the duloxetine arm).


Daytime intervals between voids increased by 22.1 and 30.6 minutes in the duloxetine-treated patients at the 40 and 60 mg twice daily dose, versus 2.8 and 8.7 minutes in the placebo group. The average number of episodes in a 24-hour period declined by 0.66 and 0.87 in the duloxetine arm at the 40 and 60 mg twice daily dosages.