What is the role of potassium channel openers in urinary incontinence treatment?

Updated: Sep 23, 2019
  • Author: Sandip P Vasavada, MD; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Potassium channel openers relax smooth muscle by increasing potassium efflux, with resultant membrane depolarization. Supersensitivity of the detrusor muscle to depolarizing stimuli, such as potassium, in individuals with urge incontinence is the theoretical basis for the use of these agents in patients with detrusor overactivity. One problem in the development of potassium channel openers for use in bladder disorders has been the lack of organ specificity. Overall progress toward the development of a viable clinical formulation has been disappointing.


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