Could a one-a-day pill be the answer for women with stress urinary incontinence -- a condition resulting in leakage with coughing, sneezing and laughing?
Urologists at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan are seeking postmenopausal women with stress urinary incontinence, or SUI, for a research study of a compound that may strengthen pelvic floor muscle and reduce the leakage of urine. Beaumont doctors are first in the U.S. to study the use of enobosarm, an investigational medication to treat women's SUI.
"Our hope is that this daily pill will enhance the pelvic floor muscle and reduce stress urinary incontinence in women," said Kenneth Peters, M.D., principal investigator and chief, Urology, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. "The pelvic floor muscles are very important in controlling urinary continence."
Stress urinary incontinence -- the cause of wetness with coughing or physical activity -- affects about 13 million Americans. Most are women. This unintentional leakage of urine affects up to 35 percent of adult women.
Kathy Abourezk, 55, of Troy, doesn't go anywhere without extra pads. She has lived with SUI since 2007 and she says it has gotten worse. "It's not predictable," she said. "I never know when I'll have leakage."
Her OB-GYN told her, "You're too young to be walking around with a wet pad."
Along with coughing and sneezing, she says her husband's jokes make her laugh, resulting in more urine leaks. Even movement, like getting out of her car, is problematic.
SUI affects people's lifestyle, at home, work, leisure and in their relationships.
"I would welcome a safe and effective treatment option for stress urinary incontinence, especially since existing nonsurgical options like wearing pads or doing Kegel exercises are extremely limited, and at times, marginally effective," said Dr. Peters.
Kathy's OB-GYN referred her to Dr. Peters. When she found out she was a candidate for the pill study, she was eager to participate. "Surgery wasn't something I even considered. It was not an option. I like the idea of just taking a pill. I'm hopeful this study medication will help me and other women."
The study is being conducted only at Beaumont and is evaluating the effects of orally administered enobosarm, 3mg once a day, in postmenopausal women with SUI. Dr. Peters and his team plan to enroll up to 35 women to test the safety and effectiveness of enobosarm. Participants will take the study medication for 90 days.
For more information on the study and its criteria, call Urology Research at 248-551-3355.
"Beaumont urologists helped develop the protocol for this study with GTx Inc., a Memphis, Tennessee-based biopharmaceutical company, and is the only center offering this treatment," explained Dr. Peters.
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