Have you tried everything for adult bedwetting issues? Think again! When it comes to incontinence, here’s why you need to check your drugs and their effects!
We know that adult bedwetting can be a frustrating and at times, embarrassing problem. But you’re not alone: over 200 million adults across the globe are suffering from this issue.
If you’ve tried everything and are still having problems, your medication may be to blame. Read on to learn more.
Let’s Start With The Most Basic Adult Bedwetting Cause
It’s alcohol. Though it’s not technically a medication (even if we all sometimes use it that way), it still alters your mind and affects your body.
If you’re drinking an excessive amount of beer, wine, or liquor before bed, your urine production will go into overdrive overnight and you may have an adult bedwetting accident.
With that possible culprit out of the way, let’s get to the medications prescribed by your doctor that may be responsible.
Antidepressants and Adult Bedwetting
You may think adult bedwetting is an issue that only affects the elderly, but statistics show that 15% of adults between 40-45 are also faced with this issue – as are 27% of people 50-59.
Unfortunately, your gender may also have an influence on how likely you are to develop an adult bedwetting problem, as women are five times more likely than men to face this issue.
But you know that depression, and other mental health problems, don’t discriminate. And if you’re taking an antidepressant, it may be what’s causing you to have frequent accidents.
Sure, you may have heard from your doctor that certain antidepressants, like Elavil and Tofranil, may actually help with adult bedwetting – and that’s true, when used in combination with other treatment options.
Sometimes, these medications can make you need to go to the bathroom even less than usual – even if they’re not specifically bladder control drugs.
But antidepressants containing Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline, and Desipramine – which block neurotransmitter acetylcholine in your body – can sometimes cause problems with your bladder’s ability to contract, leading to constipation and strain.
You’ll find this in medications like Haldol, Risperdal, and Norpramin. These ingredients also cause your body to retain excess amounts of urine – making you more likely to have an accident.
Unfortunately, 70% of people dealing with overflow incontinence ignore the issue or are too embarrassed to get help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of – this is a common problem. If you think your antidepressant may be to blame, talk to your doctor – and ask if he or she can recommend an antidepressant that’s been shown to help stop adult bedwetting.
Blood Pressure Medications
Many blood pressure medications contain alpha-blockers, which are designed to dilate your body’s blood vessels, leading to lowered blood pressure.
Though the medication does a great job relaxing your blood vessels, that means your bladder can also get a little too relaxed – leading to adult bedwetting.
Additionally, blood pressure medications like Minipress, Cardura, and Hytrin can also take too much pressure off your urethra. This can increase what’s called stress incontinence – adult bedwetting accidents that happen when you sneeze, cough, jump, or run.
In fact, these blood pressure medications are sometimes prescribed (especially to male patients) to help increase urination, especially to men recovering from prostate surgery or to men with an enlarged prostate. Still, this can have an impact on the control of both male and female patients.
Pro Tip: If your adult bedwetting issues are minor/infrequent, in addition to switching up your medication, you may want to try kegel exercises, which can help to strengthen the muscles of your bladder.
Hormone Therapy Medications
Whether you’re taking estrogen or progesterone pills, they may be a leading cause of adult bedwetting.
Hormone therapy is prescribed more often to younger patients than some of the other medications listed here – and it may account for some of the struggles that 24% of women aged 18-44 have with adult bedwetting.
Unfortunately, like a lot of the other prescriptions we’re writing about here, hormone therapy is also, at times, prescribed to patients to help stop incontinence issues.
Since the discovery of the connection between accidents and hormone therapy pills has only happened recently, scientists are still struggling to put their finger on exactly what’s going on.
Hormone therapy has been proven to increase stress incontinence and urge incontinence (how frequently you need to race to the bathroom throughout the day.)
Sleeping Medications and Other Sedatives
We know this one especially is frustrating for patients dealing with adult bedwetting to hear – when you’ve got a problem like this, sometimes all you want is to be able to sleep through the night.
Sedatives and sleeping pills containing Lorazepam, Diazepam, and Flurazepam slow your reflexes way down in trying to relax you – meaning that your body may not always be able to recognize when it’s time to go to the bathroom.
Plus, when you’re already in a deep sleep, it can be more difficult to wake up – leading you to have an accident in your sleep. Brands like Valium, Ativan, Lunesta, Ambien are among the most commonly prescribed sleep aids on the market.
Still, we get it: you can’t deal with adult bedwetting and sacrifice sleep at the same time. Until you talk to your doctor and work out a better solution, it may be time to give more natural sleep remedies a try.
Put some liquid melatonin in your tea about an hour before you go to bed, try some breathing techniques to help you fall asleep faster, and even pick up a sleep mask to help block out light and let you crash.
You might also consider increasing your Vitamin D intake throughout the day, as sleep problems have been known to occur in patients who aren’t getting enough of the nutrient. Look into some supplements – but talk to your doctor first.
Painkillers, Especially Those Containing Opiates
Morphine is a commonly prescribed medication, whether you’re recovering from a major surgery, dealing with constant, unexplained pain, or struggling with severe aches.
Unfortunately, many people can become unknowingly addicted to opiates – so if you’ve been taking morphine or another painkiller past your doctor’s recommendations, it could be a reason why you’re dealing with severe adult bedwetting. You’ve got more than one reason to seek help.
If you’re taking your painkillers as your doctor instructed, they can still cause you to have frequent accidents. They can also impact your bladder’s ability to fully retract, leading to overflow of urine caused by excess retention in your body.
Opiates also have been known to cause constipation, which can make it difficult for your body to discern when it’s time to go to the bathroom. Brand names like OxyContin and Oramorph and generic options like codeine and oxycodone are common medications with opiates in them.
There are many reasons to avoid opiate painkillers if possible, but if you’re recovering from an operation, talk to your doctor about whether or not you can try a medication that does not contain opiates.
Cough Medications and Decongestants
If you’re dealing with a more sudden and unexpected bout of adult bedwetting, think if you’ve been taking any prescribed or over-the-counter cough and antihistamine medications.
Even common pills like Benadryl and Sudafed are made with pseudoephedrine, which can tighten your urinary sphincter, leading to the retention of urine in your body.
Oddly, these medications can impact the frequency of accidents differently in women than in men.
While in women, the tightening of your bladder’s muscles causes urine overflow and sometimes incontinence, these pills are often recommended or prescribed by doctors to male patients who are recovering from prostate surgery.
Why? Because pills like Sudafed (or generic options, like diphenhydramine or pseudoephedrine) can tighten bladder muscles and stop bladder leakage.
These pills also impact you differently depending on your age. In elderly patients especially, antihistamines can cause excessive drowsiness (you’ve probably seen people incorrectly using these pills to help them fall asleep) and relax the bladder.
In the elderly, most bladder control issues occur while sleeping, and these pills may make it hard for them to tell when they need to go to the bathroom.
But if you’re dealing with a cough, chances are you’re not interested in just suffering in silence until it goes away. Some great alternatives to these medications (even those prescribed by your doctor in more minor coughs/colds) are other types of decongestants, like loratadine (you might know it as Claritin.)
Read the label or ask your doctor/pharmacist to make recommendations for cough medications that won’t interfere with your bladder control and cause adult bedwetting.
Take Your Life Back
We know that talking about your adult bedwetting issue is hard – even if it’s just bringing it up with a medical professional who you know hears about things like this every day.
Still, there’s no reason for you to suffer in silence. If you’ve tried everything, it’s time to make that call to your doctor and set things right.
In the meantime, it’s probably a good idea to stock up on some supplies to help you get through this phase of adult bedwetting. Get in touch with us and browse our site to learn more about products like liners, wipes, diapers, and underpads.
We’ll help you keep your dignity while you seek treatment and solutions.