Rethinking Second-Line Therapy for Overactive Bladder to Improve Patient Access to Treatment Options

Christina M. Escobar*, Kerac N. Falk, Shailja Mehta, Evelyn F. Hall, Kimia Menhaji, Elisabeth C. Sappenfield, Oluwateniola E. Brown, Nancy E. Ringel, Olivia H. Chang, Laura M. Tellechea, Hayley C. Barnes, Sarah E.S. Jeney, Alaina T. Bennett, Olivia O. Cardenas-Trowers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Idiopathic overactive bladder (OAB) is a chronic condition that negatively affects quality of life, and oral medications are an important component of the OAB treatment algorithm. Recent literature has shown that anticholinergics, the most commonly prescribed oral medication for the treatment of OAB, are associated with cognitive side effects including dementia. β3-Adrenoceptor agonists, the only alternative oral treatment for OAB, are similar in efficacy to anticholinergics with a more favorable side effect profile without the same cognitive effects. However, there are marked cost variations and barriers to access for OAB medications, resulting in expensive copays and medication trial requirements that ultimately limit access to β3-Adrenoceptor agonists and more advanced procedural therapies. This contributes to and perpetuates health care inequality by burdening the patients with the least resources with a greater risk of dementia. When prescribing these medications, health care professionals are caught in a delicate balancing act between cost and patient safety. Through multilevel collaboration, we can help disrupt health care inequalities and provide better care for patients with OAB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-460
Number of pages7
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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