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J Urol. 2002 Feb;167(2 Pt 1):586-90.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled crossover trial of nimodipine in older persons with detrusor instability and urge incontinence.

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  • 1Divisions of General Internal Medicine, University Health Network, the Geriatrics Program, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, the Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research Program (University Health Network Unit), Canada.



We evaluated the efficacy of nimodipine, a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker that relaxes vascular and nonvascular smooth muscle, for geriatric urge incontinence.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled crossover trial of 30 mg. nimodipine twice daily for 3 weeks in older persons with detrusor instability and chronic urge incontinence was done. A total of 86 participants with a mean age of 73.4 years were randomized. The primary outcome was the number of incontinent episodes, as measured by the self completion of a 5-day voiding record. Secondary outcomes included the impact of urinary incontinence on quality of life measured with a modified incontinence impact questionnaire (mIIQ) and symptoms, as measured by the American Urological Association (AUA) symptom score.


A total of 76 (88.4%) participants completed the study. There was no significant difference in the number of incontinent episodes with nimodipine versus placebo, which included a difference of 0.03 incontinent episodes during a 5-day period (p =0.98, 95% confidence interval -2.7 to 2.8). Scores on the mIIQ and the AUA symptom score were not significantly different with nimodipine versus placebo (p = 0.07 and 0.22, respectively). Regardless of initial treatment, participants had improvement with time, that is a period effect, of incontinent episodes (p <0.0001), mIIQ scores (p = 0.0002) and AUA symptom score values (p <0.0001).


Treatment of geriatric urge incontinence with 30 mg. nimodipine twice daily did not result in a significant improvement of incontinent episodes, mIIQ scores or AUA symptom scores.

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