Overactive marketing of drugs for overactive bladder

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Overactive bladder is one of the poster children for disease-mongering. Some have written that it’s a “created new disease.

Others have analyzed that its prevalence has been over-estimated.

The folks at WorstPills.org (Best Pills, Worst Pills – a project of the Public Citizen’s Health Research Group) write that there are huge questions about the drugs created to treat it:

“All of the drugs currently approved in the U.S. to treat overactive bladder work about the same. The results are all statistically significant, and they are better than nothing, but their effect is minimal (a reduction of about one urination per day compared to a placebo).”

They explain that the six drugs – yep, count ‘em: six drugs for overactive bladder – are so-called anticholinergic agents.

“Unfortunately, these anticholinergic effects are both what makes them effective and what makes them potentially harmful. Although for patients with overactive bladder difficulty urinating is the intended effect of the drug, that same difficulty is, in a sense, a side effect of the drug. Taking more of the drug strengthens all of the side effects — including both the desired effects, such as reduced urination, and the ones you do not want.”

Hmm. Did you learn any of that in the TV drug ads?

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