PURPOSE: To describe the use of antimuscarinic drugs to treat overactive bladder (OAB) in Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (UK).
METHODS: We identified new users of darifenacin, fesoterodine, oxybutynin, solifenacin, tolterodine, and trospium aged 18 years or older from the Danish National Registers (2004-2012), the Swedish National Registers (2006-2012), and UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (2004-2012). Users were followed until disenrollment, cancer diagnosis, death, or study end. Treatment episodes, identified by linking consecutive prescriptions, were described with respect to duration, drug switch, and drug add-on.
RESULTS: Mean age of OAB drug users was 66 years in Denmark (n = 72,917) and Sweden (n = 130,944), and 62 years in the UK (n = 119,912); 60% of Danish and Swedish patients and 70% of UK patients were female. In Denmark, of 224,680 treatment episodes, 39% were with solifenacin, and 35% with tolterodine; 2% were with oxybutynin. In Sweden, of 240,141 therapy episodes, 37% were with tolterodine and 35% with solifenacin; 5% were with oxybutynin. In the UK, of 245,800 treatment episodes, 28% were with oxybutynin, 27% with solifenacin, and 26% with tolterodine. In the three countries, 49%-52% of treatment episodes comprised one prescription and over 80% of episodes ended because of no refill; less than 20% ended because of a switch to another antimuscarinic. During the study years, we observed a change in OAB treatment preference from tolterodine to solifenacin.
CONCLUSIONS: In these cohorts, persistence with antimuscarinic drugs was low. By 2012, the preferred drug was solifenacin; oxybutynin use was marginal in Nordic countries compared with the UK.