Anticholinergic drugs for adult neurogenic detrusor overactivity: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Priya Madhuvrata, Manju Singh, Zaid Hasafa, Mohamed Abdel-Fattah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)


There is a lack of evidence about the efficacy and safety of anticholinergic drugs and about the optimal anticholinergic drug, if any, for the treatment of adult neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO).

Review the current evidence on the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of anticholinergic drugs in the treatment of adult NDO.

Evidence acquisition
A literature search was conducted from 1966 to May 2011. Meta-analysis of all published randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing anticholinergic drugs with placebo and comparing different types, doses, and routes of administration of anticholinergic drugs, in adults with NDO, was performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis statement. The primary outcome was patient-reported cure/improvement of overactive bladder symptoms. Secondary outcomes were quality of life (QoL) changes, bladder diary events, urodynamic outcomes, adverse events, and costs to health services.

Evidence synthesis
A total of 960 patients from 16 RCTs with mean follow-up of 3.8 wk were included. Anticholinergic drugs were associated with statistically significantly better patient-reported cure/improvement (risk ratio: 2.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.64 to 4.77), higher maximum cystometric capacity (weighted mean difference [WMD]: 49.49; 95% CI, 15.38 to 84.20), higher volume at first contraction (WMD: 49.92; 95% CI, 20.06 to 79.78), and lower maximum detrusor pressure (WMD: -38.30; 95% CI, -53.17 to -23.43) when compared with placebo. The dry-mouth rates were statistically significantly higher with anticholinergics, with no difference in withdrawals because of adverse events. There was no statistically significant difference in any of the outcomes between oxybutynin and other anticholinergics or among different doses and preparations of anticholinergic drugs. No study reported QoL changes or costs to health services.

Compared with placebo, anticholinergic treatment in patients with NDO is associated with better patient-reported cure/improvement and significant reduction of maximum detrusor pressure; however, there is a higher incidence of adverse events. None of the anticholinergic drugs or different dosages assessed in this review was superior to another.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-830
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number5
Early online date24 Feb 2012
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • neurogenic detrusor overactivity
  • anticholinergics
  • detrusor hyperreflexia
  • neurogenic bladder
  • antimuscarinics


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