Care Providers Must Be Cautious When Giving Medications to Nursing Home Residents with Urinary Incontinence

The number of nursing home residents battling with urinary incontinence is much greater than older adults living in the community. Urinary incontinence in the nursing home is as high as 78% in women and 72% in men, with these rates increasing with age.

A recent retrospective analysis sought to determine the proportion of nursing home residents suffering with overactive bladder or urinary incontinence with potential pharmacodynamic contraindications to antinuscarinic treatment due to concomitant anticholinergic pharmaceuticals or acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) and nonpharmacological limitations to antimuscarinic treatment. Researchers found that of nursing home residents, 71.3% were prescribed at least one anticholinergic medication. Medications that could result in or worsen urinary incontinence were often used.

This study provides greater knowledge regarding the difficulties in prescribing antimuscarinic treatment safely and appropriately in older adult nursing home residents with a great risk of drug interactions.