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Age Ageing. 1995 Jul;24(4):287-91.

Oxybutynin with bladder retraining for detrusor instability in elderly people: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University College London Medical School, St Pancras Hospital.


The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of oxybutynin plus bladder training in the treatment of detrusor instability in frail elderly patients living independently in the community. It was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel-group trial of oxybutynin in 57 elderly patients (mean age 82.2, SD 6.06), with frequency and incontinence due to detrusor instability. After a 2-week run-in period patients received a bladder training and drug or placebo for the next 6 weeks. Outcome measures were changes in frequency and incontinence, recorded throughout on diary charts, and subjective evaluation of symptoms ('better'/'not better', and using a four-point scale 'cure' to 'no change'). Oxybutynin was superior to placebo in reducing daytime frequency [95% confidence interval (CI) of difference in change in frequencies totalled over 14 days was -27.0, -6.0; p = 0.003] and in producing subjective benefit (at day 29 only), when 24/28 (86%) patients on oxybutynin described benefit compared with 16/29 (55%) on placebo (p = 0.02). There was no difference between the groups in reduction of incontinent episodes. The median dose of oxybutynin titrated for therapeutic effect was 5 mg/day, and for placebo 10 mg/day (CI of difference 0.001, 5.001; p = 0.05). Side-effects reported were of similar frequency (50%) in the two groups. We conclude that oxybutynin with bladder training is superior to bladder training alone in reducing frequency due to detrusor instability in very elderly people living at home.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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