Treating Incontinence in Women: Medication

Urinary incontinence is the leaking of urine from the bladder. In some cases, medication can reduce or stop the leaking. It is mainly given for urge incontinence.  Your doctor will talk with you about your options. Make sure to ask what side effects to expect.

Types of medication

Pharmacist handing woman bottle of pills over counter.

Below are some types of medications that may help with urge incontinence.

  • Anticholinergics. These may increase how much urine the bladder can hold. They may also help relax bladder muscles.

  • Estrogen. This may help improve muscle tone in the urethra and bladder.

  • Antibiotics. These are used to treat urinary tract infections.

  • Botulinum toxin. Injection of botulinum toxin into the bladder muscle is an option when other medications are not effective.

Tips for taking medication

  • Take your medication on time and as your doctor has instructed.

  • Tell your doctor if you have any side effects. Your dosage may be adjusted to reduce side effects.

  • Be patient. It may take time to find the right dose for you.

  • Keep a list of the medications you take. Show the list to any doctor you visit. Show it to the pharmacist before you buy any over-the-counter medication. Some of these can make incontinence medication not work as well. And some medication can make incontinence worse.