Symptoms

Signs

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Because of the complex mechanism of micturition, many drugs can interact with the micturition pathway, all via different modes of action.

Urinary retention has been described with the use of drugs with anticholinergic activity (e.g. antipsychotic drugs, antidepressant agents and anticholinergic respiratory agents), opioids and anaesthetics, alpha-adrenoceptor agonists, benzodiazepines, NSAIDs, detrusor relaxants and calcium channel antagonists. 1

Elderly patients are at higher risk for developing drug-induced urinary retention, because of existing co-morbidities such as benign prostatic hyperplasia and the use of other concomitant medication that could reinforce the impairing effect on micturition

 

Data from observational studies suggest that up to 10% of episodes might be attributable to the use of concomitant medication. Urinary retention has been described with the use of drugs with anticholinergic activity (e.g. antipsychotic drugs, antidepressant agents and anticholinergic respiratory agents), opioids and anaesthetics, alpha-adrenoceptor agonists, benzodiazepines, NSAIDs, detrusor relaxants and calcium channel antagonists. Elderly patients are at higher risk for developing drug-induced urinary retention, because of existing co-morbidities such as benign prostatic hyperplasia and the use of other concomitant medication that could reinforce the impairing effect on micturition. Drug-induced urinary retention is generally treated by urinary catheterization, especially if acute, in combination with discontinuation or a reduction in dose of the causal drug. Studies have been carried out examining the effects of preventive measures for anaesthesia-related urinary retention, both during and after surgery, particularly into the effect of using opioids in combination with non-opioid analgesic drugs on the incidence of postoperative urinary retention. Although combination therapy reduces the opioid-related adverse events, the effect on urinary retention yields contradictory results. This article reviews the literature on drug-induced urinary retention and focuses on its incidence, the different classes of drugs that have been associated with it, and options for its management and prevention.

 

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Urinary retention is a condition in which impaired emptying of the bladder results in postvoidal residual urine. It is generally classified into 'acute' or 'chronic' urinary retention.

 

 

 

 

 

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Drug-induced urinary retention is generally treated by urinary catheterization, especially if acute, in combination with discontinuation or a reduction in dose of the causal drug.

 

 

Complications of Injecting Drug Use

  • Local problems—Abscess (Figures 240-2 
    Image not available.

    A 32-year-old woman with type 1 diabetes developed large abscesses all over her body secondary to injection of cocaine and heroin. Her back shows the large scars remaining after the healing of these abscesses. (Courtesy of ­Richard P. Usatine, MD.)

    and 240-3; Abscess), cellulitis, septic thrombophlebitis, local induration, necrotizing fasciitis, gas gangrene, pyomyositis, mycotic aneurysm, compartmental syndromes, and foreign bodies (e.g., broken needle parts) in local areas.2
    • IDUs are at higher risk of getting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) skin infections that the patient may think are spider bites (Figure 240-4).
    • Some IDUs give up trying to inject into their veins and put the cocaine directly into the skin. This causes local skin necrosis that produces round atrophic scars (Figure 240-5).
  • IDUs are at risk for contracting systemic infections, including HIV and hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
    • Injecting drug users are at risk of endocarditis, osteomyelitis (Figures 240-6and 240-7), and an abscess of the epidural region. These infections can lead to long hospitalizations for intravenous antibiotics. The endocarditis that occurs in IDUs involves the right-sided heart valves (see Chapter 50, Bacterial Endocarditis).2 They are also at risk of septic emboli to the lungs, group A β-hemolytic streptococcal septicemia, septic arthritis, and candidal and other fungal infections.

 

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Question 1 of 1

A 42-year-old African-American man has been diagnosed with hypertension for the past 10 years and treated with medication. One morning, he is found unresponsive by his wife. He is taken to the emergency department and pronounced dead by the physician. An autopsy revealed cardiac hypertrophy and a narrowing of the aorta just distal to the ligamentum arteriosum, with dilation of the intercostal artery's ostia. How could the death have possibly been prevented?

Answer

 

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