Comparative Effectiveness of Anticholinergic Agents for Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms.

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Limited data from short-term clinical trials suggest efficacy advantages of solifenacin and fesoterodine over other anticholinergic agents in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms.


To (a) determine the real-world comparative effectiveness of newer anticholinergic agents for lower urinary tract symptoms, as assessed by 1-year persistence, and (b) identify patient factors independently associated with persistence.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study of U.S. veterans initiating newer anticholinergic therapy between October 2007 and August 2015. Multiple log-binomial regression was used to contrast 1-year persistence rates across anticholinergic agents while adjusting for measured confounders. Persistence was selected as a measure of effectiveness because nonpersistence is a common pathway encompassing inefficacy and intolerability, particularly in symptom-driven conditions.


A total of 26,775 patients were included, of which 10,386 (38.8%) persisted with anticholinergic therapy at 1 year. Using long-acting tolterodine as the reference agent, superior persistence rates were observed for solifenacin (RR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.03-1.13) and fesoterodine (RR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.09-1.43), and a lower rate for short-acting tolterodine (RR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.85-0.94). Patient factors associated with higher persistence rates included older age, male sex, and comorbidities such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and diabetes.


Consistent with clinical trial reports, we found evidence for superior effectiveness of solifenacin and fesoterodine relative to other anti-cholinergics and for long-acting formulations over short-acting formulations.


This work was supported by the Iowa City VA Health Care System and by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Research and Development, Health Services Research and Development Service (CDA 10-017). The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. government. The authors have no conflicts of interest. Study concept and design were contributed by all the authors. Shaw took the lead in data collection, along with Lund, and data interpretation was performed by Lund, Goodson, and Cantrell. The manuscript was written by Goodson, Cantrell, Lund, and Shaw and revised by Lund, Goodson, Cantrell, and Shaw.

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