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What Is Darifenacin Used For?

Darifenacin is used for treating an overactive bladder in adults. By relaxing the bladder muscles, the drug can help reduce leaking accidents and frequent urination. Although medications are sometimes used "off-label" for other purposes, there are no universally accepted off-label darifenacin uses at this time. In addition, the drug is not approved for use in children.

What Is Darifenacin Used For? -- An Overview

Darifenacin (Enablex®) is a prescription medication approved for relieving the symptoms of an overactive bladder. It belongs to a group of medications known as anticholinergics or, more specifically, antimuscarinics.
An overactive bladder is caused by muscle contractions that are too frequent and usually uncontrollable. Normally, the bladder slowly fills until nerve signals tell your brain that the bladder is full and you need to use the bathroom. Then the bladder muscles contract when you urinate. However, in some people, the bladder muscles contract frequently and spastically. This causes the following overactive bladder symptoms:
  • Leaking accidents (known as urinary incontinence or urge incontinence)
  • A frequent need to urinate (usually defined as needing to go more than eight times a day)
  • Sudden, frequent urges to urinate.
An overactive bladder may sometimes be caused by other medical problems, such as an enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). In these cases, it is usually best to treat the underlying problem instead of using darifenacin. The medication is not approved for other types of bladder problems.

How Does Darifenacin Work?

Darifenacin works by binding to specific receptors in the bladder, called muscarinic receptors, which helps the muscles of the bladder to relax. Since an overactive bladder is often caused by muscles that contract too frequently and uncontrollably, darifenacin can help relieve many of the associated symptoms.
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