Duloxetine: a serotonin-noradrenaline re-uptake inhibitor
for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence

Zinner NR.
Western Clinical Research, Inc.,
Torrance, CA, USA.
Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2003 Sep;12(9):1559-66


Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the accidental leakage of urine associated with physical activities such as running, jumping or lifting or with sneezing and coughing. For many patients it can be a very bothersome symptom, causing social isolation, loss of self-esteem and increased financial outlays. Although there is currently no medication approved worldwide for the treatment of SUI, a variety of off-label agents are sometimes prescribed. Duloxetine (LY-248686; Eli Lilly), a new centrally acting compound with dual activity as a serotonin and noradrenaline re-uptake inhibitor, offers a promising new approach for treatment. Due to its inhibition of presynaptic neuron re-uptake of serotonin and noradrenaline in the sacral spinal cord, duloxetine is believed to increase the strength of urethral sphincter contractions and thereby prevent accidental urine leakage by increasing urethral closure pressure. In three published trials in women with the predominant symptom of SUI, duloxetine significantly reduced the number of incontinence episodes compared to placebo. Adverse events were usually observed early in treatment, were mild-to-moderate in severity and were transient. Nausea was the most common reason for discontinuation.
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