More MS news articles for June 1999

Television News Service/Medical Breakthroughs

©Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc. June 1999

Urinary incontinence is a condition that affects nearly 17 million Americans, young and old. It's often embarrassing and leaves a person without control of their bladder. A tiny, new pill may soon make a difference for those who suffer from this condition.

Tracy Lee Tracy has multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease that has confined her to a wheelchair. It has made her incontinent as well. "You have to watch your time wisely as well as fluid intake so that you don't have accidents while you're out in public," she says.

Michael Chancellor, M.D., a urologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania says a new drug called Ditropan XL promises to help people like Tracy. It works like Ditropan, a common treatment for incontinence, but without the side effects like dry mouth and constipation the older drug is known to cause.

Dr. Chancellor says, "Finally we have a pill that works but is tolerable. We can reach out and tell the public that you don't have to be embarrassed with incontinence."

A laser-drilled hole and new gel coating has converted the traditional drug, Ditropan, into a veritable cruise missile. It releases precisely the right amount of medication over 24 hours, eliminating most side effects.

Tracy says the new pill has given her a much fuller life. Now she can run errands without worry. "It's made such a difference for me in a short amount of time that I'm looking forward as time goes on for it to be even better."

Ditropan XL is now available by prescription.

If you would like more information, please contact:
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
News Bureau
200 Lothrop St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 647-3555