Controversy over the pharmacological treatments of storage symptoms in spinal cord injury patients: A literature overview

G. Del Popolo, M. Mencarini, F. Nelli, M. Lazzeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study design:Our aim was to locate research and communicate the evidence found from scientific studies pertaining to the treatment of neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO) in the chronic stage of spinal cord injury (SCI).Objective:To address the controversy over the traditional (antimuscarinics) and the new treatments for NDO and try to offer an insight on the rationale underlying the development of new drugs such as botulinum toxin (BTX), vanilloids, nociceptin/orphanin FQ. As a final point, to provide information on a new class of cation channels, the Degenerin/Epithelial Na Channel (Deg/ENaC) Family that could be future targets for the management of NDO.Setting:International.Methods:Overview of English literature on drug management of NDO.Results:Agents that block the efferent function of micturition reflex, such as antimuscarinics, are currently first-line therapy for NDO. They reach the highest level of evidence (1a) and grade of recommendation (A). However, many patients and physicians believe that the efferent pharmacological management of NDO is not completely satisfactory. Consequently, research is trying to address issues of efficacy, tolerability and convenience of new therapeutic strategies targeting the afferent function.Conclusion:Antimuscarinic therapy increases the bladder capacity and delays the initial urge to void. However, in some patients they fail to achieve the patient's therapeutic goals. New interesting approaches have been investigated in the last few years. BTX seems to be very promising in treating neurogenic overactive bladder (OAB), but other compounds are now on the horizon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-13
Number of pages6
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • antimuscarinics
  • drugs
  • spinal cord injury
  • urinary incontinence
  • vanilloids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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