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Pharmacokinetics and toxicity of antimuscarinic drugs for overactive bladder treatment in females.

INTRODUCTION: Antimuscarinics (AMs) are the mainstay of pharmacological treatment of overactive bladder (OAB), a symptom complex defined by the presence of urinary urgency, usually associated with frequency and nocturia, with or without urgency urinary incontinence. The AMs used to treat OAB differ in their pharmacological profiles, which may affect their potential for causing adverse effects (AEs).

AREAS COVERED: The present article aims to review the literature about pharmacokinetics (PK) of the different AMs used in the treatment of OAB. Furthermore, the AEs related to the use of these drugs and their incidence are presented. This systematic review is based on material searched and obtained via Medline, Pubmed and EMBASE up to March 2012 using the search terms "adverse events, pharmacokinetics, tolerability" in combination with "darifenacin, fesoterodine, imidafenacin, oxybutynin, propiverine, solifenacin, tolterodine, and trospium."

EXPERT OPINION: Antimuscarinics are the first-line pharmacological treatment for OAB. Despite the development of new molecules that improve their efficacy/safety profile, there are some drugs that are pharmacokinetically more appropriate to be prescribed in specific populations such as patients with neurological disease or the elderly. Moreover, research should be encouraged in evaluating antimuscarinics in conjunction with other drugs such as estrogens or beta-agonists. The identification of prognostic criteria for pharmacological therapy would be helpful.

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