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Common and Serious Myrbetriq Side Effects to Know

Post written by BFH Staff Writer on March 2, 2024
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When you’re managing overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms like frequent urination and urgency, Myrbetriq, or mirabegron, can offer relief. But like any medication, it’s crucial to understand the potential side effects it may bring.

What is Myrbetriq?

Myrbetriq, also known by its generic name mirabegron, is used for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms. It belongs to a class of drugs called beta-3 adrenergic agonists. Myrbetriq works by relaxing the bladder muscles, which helps reduce the frequency of urination, urgency, and episodes of urinary incontinence associated with OAB.

Unlike some other medications used for OAB, which primarily work by affecting nerve signals, Myrbetriq specifically targets the beta-3 receptors in the bladder muscle. By doing so, it helps to increase the bladder’s capacity to hold urine and reduces the sudden, involuntary contractions that characterize OAB.

Myrbetriq is typically taken orally, usually once a day, with or without food, as directed by a healthcare provider. It’s important to follow the prescribed Myrbetriq dosage and instructions carefully for optimal effectiveness and to minimize the risk of side effects.

Myrbetriq Side Effects

Common Side EffectsSerious Side Effects
HeadachesAllergic Reactions
Increased Blood PressureCardiovascular Effects
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)Liver Damage
NauseaVision Changes

Common Side Effects

When starting Myrbetriq, you might experience some common side effects. These are typically mild and may include headaches, increased blood pressure, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and nausea. Remember, these effects often diminish over time as your body adjusts to the medication.

  1. Headaches – One of the most commonly reported side effects of Myrbetriq is headaches. These headaches can vary in intensity from mild to severe and may occur frequently, especially when starting the medication.
  2. Increased Blood Pressure – Myrbetriq may cause a slight increase in blood pressure in some individuals. It’s essential for patients to monitor their blood pressure regularly, especially if they have a history of hypertension.
  3. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) –  Some users may experience urinary tract infections while taking Myrbetriq. Symptoms of UTIs include painful urination, frequent urination, and lower abdominal discomfort.
  4. Nausea – Nausea is another common side effect reported by Myrbetriq users, particularly during the initial stages of treatment. This side effect may diminish over time as the body adjusts to the medication.

Serious Side Effects

While rare, Myrbetriq can also lead to more serious side effects that require immediate attention. These include the following:

  1. Allergic Reactions – In rare cases, Myrbetriq can trigger allergic reactions characterized by symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
  2. Cardiovascular Effects – Myrbetriq may affect the heart rhythm in some individuals, leading to palpitations or irregular heartbeat. Patients with pre-existing heart conditions should use Myrbetriq with caution and under close medical supervision.
  3. Liver Damage – Although rare, Myrbetriq has been associated with liver problems such as elevated liver enzymes and liver damage. Signs of liver damage may include jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), dark urine, and persistent fatigue.

Myrbetriq Side Effects in the Elderly

Myrbetriq can also potentially pose specific side effects for elderly individuals. While side effects can vary from person to person, older adults may be more susceptible to certain adverse reactions due to age-related changes in metabolism and organ function. 

Common side effects of Myrbetriq in the elderly population may include constipation, urinary tract infections, dry mouth, increased blood pressure, and dizziness. Additionally, elderly individuals may experience an increased risk of falls due to dizziness or decreased coordination

Why is Myrbetriq So Expensive?

Myrbetriq can be expensive due to several factors. Firstly, the research and development costs incurred by pharmaceutical companies in bringing a new drug to market are substantial, and these expenses are often factored into the pricing of the medication. Additionally, Myrbetriq may be protected by patents, granting the manufacturer exclusive rights to sell the drug for a certain period, allowing them to set prices without competition from generic alternatives. 

Furthermore, the complex manufacturing processes involved in producing Myrbetriq, as well as the costs associated with clinical trials, regulatory approvals, and marketing, all contribute to its high price. Finally, the lack of significant competition in the market for medications targeting overactive bladder may also contribute to the sustained high cost of Myrbetriq.

Myrbetriq Alternatives

There are several alternative medications and treatment options available for overactive bladder if Myrbetriq (mirabegron) is not suitable or if individuals prefer different approaches. Some alternatives include:

  • Anticholinergic Medications: These drugs work by blocking the signals that cause the bladder muscles to contract uncontrollably. Examples include oxybutynin (Ditropan), tolterodine (Detrol), solifenacin (Vesicare), and darifenacin (Enablex).
  • Beta-3 Adrenergic Agonists: Similar to Myrbetriq, these medications target the beta-3 receptors in the bladder to relax the bladder muscles. However, they may have different side effect profiles. One example is vibegron.
  • Behavioral Therapies: Techniques such as bladder training, pelvic floor exercises (Kegel exercises), and biofeedback therapy can help improve bladder control and reduce urgency and frequency of urination.
  • Topical Estrogen Therapy: In postmenopausal women, topical estrogen therapy may help strengthen the tissues of the urinary tract and improve symptoms of overactive bladder.
  • Botulinum Toxin Injections: Injections of botulinum toxin (Botox) into the bladder muscle can help relax the bladder and reduce urgency and frequency of urination, particularly in cases where other treatments have not been effective.

Takeaways

As you navigate your OAB treatment with Myrbetriq, keep this information in mind. While the medication can effectively manage your symptoms, being aware of potential side effects empowers you to take charge of your health. 

If you experience any concerning symptoms, whether common or serious, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider. Together, you can ensure that your treatment plan aligns with your needs and well-being.

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