A new study suggests a connection between the use of certain inhaled drugs for breathing difficulties and emergency treatment for urinary retention. The authors reviewed the records of approximately 10,000 patients treated in Toronto for this painful condition. The men who had recently begun using inhalers such as Spiriva, Combivent or Atrovent for chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder were 42 percent more likely to have developed acute urinary retention, in which the bladder fills but cannot be emptied. Some lung experts have argued that the inhaled drugs affect only the lungs, but this association suggests that the medications can have an impact on the entire body. Men with enlarged prostate glands are also at increased risk of urinary retention if they use this type of inhaled medication. The scientists urge that both physicians and patients be more aware of the potential for this significant and painful adverse event.
[Archives of Internal Medicine, May 23, 2011]

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  1. EM
    Reply

    I have been prescribed about a year ago to the use of Combivent, still taking it, but now I have been told I have C O P D. I have this dry cough to the point of pain in the rib area and wetting myself…very embarrassing.
    I am worried – as the explanation of this is a ‘DISEASE’ – WILL ANY OF THIS EASE UP, I don’t understand all of this,
    thank you
    em
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: COPD WON’T GO AWAY, BUT YOU CAN DO THINGS THAT WILL HELP YOU MANAGE IT. HERE’S ONE SOURCE OF INFORMATION TO START WITH:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001153/

  2. PJA
    Reply

    I am so happy to hear of this study. I use Spireve, thankfully as it helps me breath. Also prescribed Advair, two puffs twice daily.
    Each time I have asked my Pulmonary doctor about the puffy ankles, he just says to keep taking my water pills. These do not help that much and I will share this printing at my next Pulmonary appointment. Actually I will copy and mail so he can have time to double check the date.
    I am so happy to breath but dang, the swelling of feet / legs is hard to deal with.

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