Overactive bladder in children


  • Sophie Ramsay
  • Stéphane Bolduc




Overactive bladder (OAB) is a highly prevalent disorder in the pediatric population. This condition is especially troublesome for pediatric patients and their families when associated with incontinence, since it negatively affects self-esteem and impairs children’s development. From the patient’s perspective, urgency and urge incontinence can have a significant impact, negatively affecting their quality of life. For a therapy to have true benefit, changes must not only be statistically significant, but must also be perceived as meaningful by the patient. A stepwise approach is favoured to treat this pathology, starting with behavioural therapy, followed by medical management, and eventually more invasive procedures.

Antimuscarinic agents are the mainstay of medical treatment for OAB. Oxybutynin is the most commonly used antimuscarinic in the pediatric population. However, some patients have a suboptimal response to antimuscarinics and many experience bothersome side effects, which have been documented with all antimuscarinics to a significantly higher degree than placebo. Although there have been reports about the use of tolterodine, fesoterodine, trospium, propiverine, and solifenacin in children, to date, only oxybutynin has been officially approved for pediatric use by medical authorities in North America.

This review will address alternative treatment options for pediatric patients presenting with OAB, from conservative measures to more invasive therapies.


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How to Cite

Ramsay, S., & Bolduc, S. (2017). Overactive bladder in children. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 11(1-2S), S74–9. https://doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.4337