Potential therapeutic targets for treatment of the overactive bladder
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Muscarinic receptor antagonists remain the main therapy for the treatment of the overactive bladder yet severe adverse effects make them unsuitable for a large number of patients. The development of new drugs with novel mechanisms of action for the treatment of this condition is therefore essential. This article considers some of the targets currently under investigation for the development of such compounds. β-adrenoceptor agonists and KATP channel openers inhibit detrusor muscle activity and remain targets for drug development. There is also evidence that α-adrenoceptor antagonists may be effective in the overactive bladder, but the mechanism involved in this action is unclear. Finally the role of tachykinins in regulating bladder function through both the sensory and the motor innervation make them a potential target for drug development, but as with the the others, a selective action on the bladder must remain the goal of drug development.
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