Long-term safety, efficacy, and tolerability of imidafenacin in the treatment of overactive bladder: a review of the Japanese literature
Department of Urology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan
Abstract: Imidafenacin is an antimuscarinic agent with high affinity for the M3 and M1 muscarinic receptor subtypes and low affinity for the M2 subtype, and is used to treat overactive bladder. Several animal studies have demonstrated that imidafenacin has organ selectivity for the bladder over the salivary glands, colon, heart, and brain. In Phase I studies in humans, the approximately 2.9-hour elimination half-life of imidafenacin was shorter than that of other antimuscarinics such as tolterodine and solifenacin. Imidafenacin was approved for clinical use in overactive bladder in Japan in 2007 after a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II study and a propiverine-controlled Phase III study conducted in Japanese patients demonstrated that imidafenacin 0.1 mg twice daily was clinically effective for treating overactive bladder and was not inferior to propiverine for reduction of episodes of incontinence, with a better safety profile than propiverine. Several short-term clinical studies have demonstrated that imidafenacin also improves sleep disorders, nocturia, and nocturia-related quality of life. In addition, it is speculated that addon therapy with imidafenacin is beneficial for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia whose overactive bladder symptoms are not controlled by alpha-1 adrenoceptor antagonists. No cognitive impairment or influence of imidafenacin on the QTc interval has been observed. Although there have been very few relevant long-term clinical studies, the available information suggests the long-term efficacy, safety, and tolerability of imidafenacin, with less frequent severe adverse events, such as dry mouth and constipation. In addition, imidafenacin can be used safely for a long time even for cognitively vulnerable elderly patients with symptoms of overactive bladder. Thus, it is highly likely that imidafenacin is safe, efficacious, and tolerable to control symptoms of overactive bladder even over the long term. However, it remains unknown if the practical effectiveness of imidafenacin is applicable to ethnic groups other than Japanese.
Keywords: overactive bladder, antimuscarinics, imidafenacin, long-term efficacy