Objective To compare the tolerability and clinical efficacy of tolterodine and oxybutynin in the treatment of Hong Kong Chinese women with an overactive bladder.
Patients and methods A randomized controlled trial was conducted at two urogynaecology centres in Hong Kong. In all, 106 women with urodynamically confirmed detrusor instability were recruited. Baseline severity assessments included a visual analogue scale (VAS), urinary diary and urinary pad-test. The women were randomized to receive either oral tolterodine 2 mg or oxybutynin 5 mg twice daily for 10 weeks. Treatment responses were assessed at 4 and 10 weeks using the VAS and urinary diary. Treatment tolerability was assessed at baseline, 4 and 10 weeks using the Xerostomia Questionnaire. A urinary pad-test was repeated at 10 weeks.
Results The perceived change from baseline VAS was better in the tolterodine than the oxybutynin group after 10 weeks of treatment (per-protocol analysis, P = 0.043). The two drugs were effective in reducing the symptoms of frequency ( P < 0.001). Tolterodine was significantly better than oxybutynin in reducing urinary leakage (urinary pad-test; median change − 5.00 g vs 0 g, P = 0.019). Both drugs caused a significant worsening of dry mouth (overall dryness, P < 0.005; discomfort, P < 0.005; sleep, P = 0.021; speaking, P = 0.045; swallowing, P = 0.004; and liquid consumption, P = 0.017).
Conclusions Both oxybutynin and tolterodine were effective in ameliorating the severity of the symptoms of detrusor instability. Tolterodine was better than oxybutynin in both subjective and objective outcome measures, but both drugs caused similar worsening of dry mouth that may limit the tolerability of these medications.