Updated recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of non-neurogenic overactive bladder incorporate two new treatments approved since 2012 – oral mirabegron and intradetrusor injection of onabotulinumtoxinA.
The 2014 update from the American Urological Association and the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction (AUA/SUFU) also recognizes the growing number of therapeutic options by stressing the need to take a methodical approach and give an adequate trial of individual treatments before combining them.
“As we have more and more options on the market, you don’t want to stack one on top of another,” Dr. Emily Cole said in an interview.
“All of these methodologies have some side effects. What you don’t want to do is have added side effects if something is not working,” said Dr. Cole, a urologist specializing in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery in a group practice in San Diego.
Compared with the 2012 AUA/SUFU recommendations, the 2014 guideline on “Diagnosis and Treatment of Overactive Bladder (Non-Neurogenic) in Adults” adds the beta3-adrenoceptor agonist mirabegron (Myrbetriq, Astellas Pharma) as a first- or second-line treatment option for some patients. OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox, Allergan) has been upgraded to a “Standard Option” among third-line treatments instead of a nonapproved, off-label therapy.
The Food and Drug Administration approved mirabegron for adults with overactive bladder in June 2012. The FDA approved onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox, Allergan) in January 2013 for adults with overactive bladder who can’t use or don’t respond adequately to anticholinergics.
Clinicians always should start with first- and second-line therapies to reduce symptoms of overactive bladder, Dr. Cole said. By the time patients come to her, they typically have failed those options, but she offers them hope with third-line treatments.
“In most cases, we can really help patients. We may not make you completely dry,” she said, but “we have enough tools now that we can make marked improvements.”
That’s a big change in recent years, she added. “When I started out, we had two medications that had horrible side effects,” she said. Dr. Cole was not involved in creation of the AUA/SUFU guideline.
The AUA/SUFU based the 2012 guideline on 151 articles on the treatment of overactive bladder and reviewed 72 more articles on treatment for the 2014 update.
The recommendations on diagnosis have not changed since 2012 and are based on expert opinion and clinical principles due to insufficient evidence for stronger recommendations.
First-line treatments are behavioral therapies such as bladder training and bladder control strategies or pelvic floor muscle training, which may be combined with pharmacologic management, the guideline states.
Second-line treatments include oral antimuscarinic drugs or mirabegron, preferably in an extended-release formulation if available to reduce the likelihood of dry mouth from immediate-release formulations. A transdermal patch that delivers the antimuscarinic drug oxybutynin became available to adult women over the counter (without a prescription) in 2013.
If a first antimuscarinic medication doesn’t work or causes unacceptable side effects, modify the dose or offer a different antimuscarinic or beta3-adrenoceptor agonist, the guideline states. If an antimuscarinic is effective but causes constipation or dry mouth, don’t give up on that drug class without trying to manage side effects through bowel management, fluid management, modifying the dose, or trying another antimuscarinic.
Be extremely cautious in using antimuscarinics in patients with impaired gastric emptying or a history of urinary retention, and don’t use antimuscarinics in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma without approval from a treating ophthalmologist. If a patient is on other medications with anticholinergic properties, be cautious about prescribing antimuscarinics.
Patients who fail first- and second-line therapies should be evaluated by a specialist if they still desire treatment, according to the guideline.
Among third-line treatment options, sacral neuromodulation may be offered to patients with severe refractory overactive bladder or patients who are not candidates for second-line treatments and who are willing to undergo a surgical procedure. Peripheral tibial nerve stimulation is another option in carefully selected patients.
Intradetrusor injections of Botox may be appropriate for carefully selected and “thoroughly counseled” patients who failed first- and second-line treatments if they are able and willing to return for frequent postvoid residual evaluations and to perform self-catheterization if necessary.
The guideline does not recommend indwelling catheters for management of overactive bladder except as a last resort in some patients, and says that augmentation cystoplasty or urinary diversion may be considered in rare cases of severe, refractory, complicated overactive bladder.