Stress Urinary Incontinence in Women: Diagnosis and Medical Management

Mark Deutchman, MDMedical Writer: Meghan Wulster-Radcliffe, PhD

In This Article


Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the most common form of urinary incontinence in women and is associated with high financial, social, and emotional costs. The history and physical examination can identify most patients with a significant stress incontinence component without the need for urodynamic testing. A variety of pharmacologic agents have been used off-label, but an evidence-based pharmacologic treatment has not been readily available. The development of a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor will add a potentially useful drug to the primary care physician's practice for treating female patients with SUI. In August 2004, a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, duloxetine, became the first medication approved for the treatment of women with moderate to severe SUI throughout the European Union. As of November 2005, however, duloxetine has not been approved for the treatment of SUI in the United States.


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