Practice patterns for women with overactive bladder syndrome: Time between medications and third-line treatments

Anna C. Kirby, Sungchul Park, Sara B. Cook, Katherine Odem-Davis, John L. Gore, Erika M. Wolff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective The aims of this study are to determine how long it takes female patients with overactive bladder (OAB) to receive third-line treatment after starting OAB medications and identify factors associated with increased time. Methods This was a retrospective observational cohort study of adult female patients with OAB who received third-line treatment between 2013 and 2015 using insurance claims databases. Primary outcome was time between first OAB medication and first third-line treatment. Additional variables were patient demographics, diagnostic tests, and medical comorbidities. Results Of 3232 patients included in this study, 48.8% underwent sacral neuromodulation, 31.6% percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation, and 23% intradetrusor onabotulinumtoxin A injections. Twenty-one percent of patients filled medication prescriptions for 3 or more antimuscarinic medications, 30.4% took mirabegron, and 32.3% had advanced diagnostic tests suggestive of a specialist evaluation prior to starting medications. Median time to third-line treatment was 37.7 (interquartile range, 14.9, 16.3) months. Adjusted linear regression model revealed 2 predominant predictors of time to third-line treatments: each antimuscarinic medication trial was associated with 5.3 (95% confidence interval, 4.4-6.3) more months before third-line treatment (P < 0.001), and advanced diagnostic evaluations prior to starting medications were associated with 28.2 (95% confidence interval, 21-35) fewer months before third-line treatment (P < 0.001). Conclusions Women with OAB who undergo third-line therapy do so on average more than 3 years after starting medications. Time to third-line treatment is largely driven by the number of antimuscarinic medications tried and timing of diagnostic evaluation by a specialist. Based on these results, we suggest providers consider limiting antimuscarinic trials to 2 medications prior to moving on to other treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-436
Number of pages6
JournalFemale Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

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  • intradetrusor onabotulinumtoxin A
  • overactive bladder
  • percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation
  • sacral neuromodulation
  • urgency urinary incontinence


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