Overactive bladder drugs linked to increased risk of depression

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New research published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology suggests the risk is more pronounced in younger women.

New research indicates a significantly increased risk of depression in women with overactive bladder (OAB) who are treated with antimuscarinics.

To date, the relationship between antimuscarinics and depressive disorder remains unclear. However, according to a retrospective cohort study of almost 12,000 women with OAB, those who are treated with antimuscarinics have a 38 per cent increased risk of developing depressive disorder in the following three years compared to participants who did not receive an antimuscarinic agent.

The risk was higher in women who started treatment at younger ages. Among women in the 18-39 age group, the increased risk of depressive disorder was 83 per cent, compared to 36 per cent in participants aged 40-59 years, and 16 per cent in those 60 years and older.

Presenting the findings in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology , the authors said, “clinicians should be alert to the relationship between antimuscarinics usage and depressive disorder in OAB women and provide appropriate instructions for these patients”.

It is estimated that up to 40 per cent of women worldwide suffer from


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