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Eur Urol. 2000 Jun;37(6):702-8.

Efficacy and cardiac safety of propiverine in elderly patients - a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study.

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Department of Urology, University of Leipzig, Germany.


The study investigated the efficacy and cardiac safety of propiverine in the elderly, because the induction of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmia has been reported for some drugs prescribed in the therapy of urinary incontinence. Ninety-eight patients (21 male, 77 female; 67.7+/-6.3 years of age) suffering from urgency, urge incontinence or mixed urge-stress incontinence were included in the double-blind, multicentre, placebo-controlled, randomized study. After a 2-week placebo run-in period, the patients received propiverine (15 mg t.i.d.) or placebo (t.i.d.) for 4 weeks. Before (V1, V2) and during the treatment period (V3, V4), standard ECGs and 24-hour long-term ECGs were recorded. Propiverine caused a significant reduction of the micturition frequency (V2: 8.7+/-4.2, V4: 6.5+/-3.2 ml; p< or =0.01), reflected in a significant increase in the average micturition volume (V2: 163.5+/-65.9, V4: 216.3+/-101.5 ml; p< or =0.01) and a significant decrease in episodes of incontinence (-54%; p = 0.048). These findings were confirmed by the overall assessment at V4, in which approximately 90% of patients under propiverine either had no urge incontinence or urge symptoms, or showed improvement. Resting and ambulatory electrocardiograms indicated no significant changes. Neither the frequency-corrected Q-T interval nor other cardiac parameters were relevantly altered. The frequency of cardiac events (Lown classes IVa/b) was random, revealing no difference between placebo and propiverine. The incidence of adverse events was very low (2% dryness of the mouth under propiverine) and confirmed by the findings from the quality of life questionnaires. A favourable benefit-risk ratio without the induction of any cardiac arrhythmia in the treatment of elderly patients suffering from urgency, urge incontinence or combined urge-stress incontinence is therefore proven for propiverine.

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