Venlafaxine and bladder function

Maurizio Inghilleri, A. Conte, V. Frasca, C. Marini Bettolo, E. Iacovelli, M. Aragona, A. Carbone, M. Prencipe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Occasional case reports describe urinary incontinence in patients taking the selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant venlafaxine. OBJECTIVE: In this study the authors investigated the possible effect of venlafaxine on urinary function in a series of 9 patients with urinary retention resulting from spinal cord lesions. They primarily sought to understand whether the reported venlafaxine-induced urinary incontinence was a specific drug-induced effect and, if so, whether venlafaxine might be an effective treatment of urinary retention. METHODS: During a 1-week baseline period, patients measured postvoiding residual volume through a catheter and recorded the number of micturitions within 24 hours. At the end of the baseline period, venlafaxine 75 mg extended-release on a once-daily evening administration schedule was added to their therapy for 1 week. RESULTS: None of the patients reported severe/uncontrollable side effects while taking venlafaxine. Extended-release venlafaxine (75 mg/day) significantly reduced the postvoiding residual volume and increased the micturition rate; the volume diminished on the first day of treatment and remained stable over the ensuing days. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that venlafaxine could be useful to improve voiding in patients with spinal cord disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-273
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


  • Postvoiding residual volume
  • SNRI
  • Venlafaxine
  • Vesicosphincteric dyssynergia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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