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"Standing Ovations" Aims to Raise Awareness of Medical Condition Affecting Millions of Americans

 

 

PEAPACK, N.J. (May, 2002) - Hollywood actress Debbie Reynolds recently launched "Standing Ovations," a consumer education campaign to raise awareness of overactive bladder. Many people with overactive bladder suffer in silence, ashamed and embarrassed by their condition. Through "Standing  Ovations," Ms. Reynolds is bringing her own experience of living with the condition to center stage to encourage people to discuss their symptoms and seek the proper diagnosis and treatment. Ms. Reynolds is best known for her starring roles in films such as "Singin' in the Rain" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." Most recently, Ms. Reynolds appeared on the NBC sitcom "Will & Grace." Additionally, Ms. Reynolds continues to tour the country, performing for live audiences 40 weeks per year.

"I encourage anyone who thinks they may have overactive bladder to talk to their doctor because effective treatment is available. I suffered with the symptoms of overactive bladder for years, too embarrassed to talk with my physician. I want people to feel empowered to seek help," said Ms. Reynolds.  Overactive bladder is characterized by urinary frequency, urgency and urinary urge incontinence - the involuntary loss of urine. Symptoms may include a strong, sudden urge to urinate; urinating more than eight times over a 24-hour period (including waking up to urinate two or more times a night); or wetting accidents. More than 17 million Americans suffer from overactive bladder (one in 11 adults), many of whom remain undiagnosed. Embarrassment is a common barrier to treatment, and often leads people suffering with symptoms of the condition to withdraw from family, friends and social interaction.

 "A common misperception about overactive bladder is that it only affects the elderly," said Lauri Romanzi, M.D., clinical assistant professor of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York. "In fact, overactive bladder affects men and women of all ages. Most importantly, it is a medical condition that can be treated."

 "Before receiving treatment, I scheduled my life around my overactive bladder. As a busy performer, it really slowed me down. Still, I was embarrassed to speak up, so over time I developed ways to cope, like avoiding long car trips, and making sure I knew where the nearest rest room was located," said Ms. Reynolds.

 "Early recognition and treatment of an overactive bladder is the key to effectively managing the condition," said Dr. Romanzi.

Treatment for overactive bladder includes prescription medications like DETROL® LA (tolterodine tartrate extended release capsules), which works to help control involuntary contractions of the bladder muscle, the cause of those strong, sudden urges. Drug therapy is often coupled with behavioral techniques and bladder training, which together help patients regain control over their bladder.

Consumers can obtain additional information on "Standing Ovations," including a brochure and self-screener, by calling toll-free 1-866-DETROL-1.  DETROL® LA is a once-daily therapy for the treatment of overactive bladder with symptoms of urinary urge incontinence, urgency, and frequency.

You should not take DETROL LA if you have certain types of stomach, urinary or glaucoma problems. DETROL LA is generally well tolerated. The most common side effect in clinical studies was dry mouth (23% for DETROL LA vs 8% for placebo). Other common but less frequent side effects may include headache (6% vs 4% for placebo), constipation (6% vs 4% for placebo), and abdominal pain (4% vs 2%). Important product information is available at www.detrolLA.com <http://www.detrolLA.com>.

Pharmacia Corporation (NYSE:PHA) is a top-tier global pharmaceutical company with a leading agricultural subsidiary. Pharmacia's innovative medicines and other products save lives and enhance health and wellness. Pharmacia's 59,000 people work together with many diverse stakeholders to bring these benefits to people around the world, and to create new health solutions for the future.

 

This press release contains forward-looking or anticipatory statements about the Company's business and financial performance which are based on the information currently available and the expectations currently deemed reasonable by the Company. However, because these forward-looking statements are subject to many risks, uncertainties and changes over time, including those referenced in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future developments.

 

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My thanks to Jennifer Busk of Golin Harris Communications for the photo of Debbie on the home page and this press release.  Please scroll down for information on overactive bladders.

Facts About Overactive Bladder

What is Overactive Bladder?

Overactive bladder affects more than 17 million Americans (one in 11 adults) and is characterized by urinary frequency, urgency and urge incontinence the involuntary leakage of urine sufficient to be a problem.

Symptoms of overactive bladder may include:

  • Urgency the strong, sudden urge to urinate
  • Frequency -- urinating more than 8 times over a 24-hour period (including waking up to urinate 2 or more times a night). The need to urinate may occur soon after the bladder has been emptied
  • Inability to control urination long enough to get to the bathroom in time, leading to wetting accidents

Impact

Overactive bladder is a treatable medical condition and not a natural part of aging, as many assume. Unfortunately, many people with overactive bladder let embarrassment prevent them from seeking treatment. They suffer in silence and may withdraw from their family and friends. In particular, overactive bladder may cause people to:

  • Experience disturbed sleep and loss of daytime productivity due to waking up to go to the bathroom 2 or more times during the night.
  • Withdraw from sexual intimacy to avoid the anxiety and embarrassment caused by urine leakage during lovemaking.Repeatedly leave important meetings because of frequent trips to the bathroom.Avoid exercise because of fear of being too far away from a bathroom.
  • Habitually look for toilet locations and plan activities such as traveling and shopping based on knowing where toilets can be easily reached.Pass up invitations to socialize with friends and family because of the embarrassment of having to visit the bathroom regularly or the fear of having a wetting accident. Only sit in the aisle seat when taking public transportation and visiting places of worship, the theater, or the movies to be able to leave quickly to find a bathroom.
  • Always carry a spare set of clothing in case of a wetting accident.
  • Wear dark and baggy clothing to disguise disposable pads or the signs of a wetting accident. Carry a bottle in the car in case of the need to urinate while traveling long distances between gas stations. Silently endure a condition that no one is talking about and falsely believe that there is no hope or treatment.

Causes of Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder occurs when a large muscle in the bladder known as the "detrusor," is too active. This muscle squeezes or contracts more often than normal and at inappropriate times. Instead of staying at rest as urine fills the bladder, the detrusor contracts while the bladder is filling with urine. This causes a person to feel a sudden and sometimes overwhelming urge to urinate even when the bladder isn't full.

In some cases, overactive bladder may result from neurological (nerve-related) damage due to disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord lesions. However, in most patients a cause cannot be identified.

Diagnosis

Many of those with overactive bladder can effectively manage their condition by talking to a doctor or healthcare professional who can provide diagnosis and the proper treatment. First, the physician will require a detailed medical history, physical examination and urine test. The doctor also may ask the patient to document urinary habits in a daily diary.

Treatment

Once overactive bladder is diagnosed, medications, such as DETROL LA® (tolterodine tartrate extended release capsules) may be prescribed. DETROL LA works by helping to control involuntary contractions of the bladder muscle -- the cause of those strong, sudden urges. Behavioral techniques called pelvic floor muscle exercises (PMEs), or bladder training to help control urination and help the patient reassert control over his or her bladder also may be suggested to manage the condition.

Important Information

You should not take DETROL LA if you have stomach, urinary or glaucoma problems. DETROL LA is generally well tolerated. The most common side effect is dry mouth. Other side effects may include headache, constipation, and abdominal pain.

 

Media Contact:

Rose Talarico

Pharmacia Corporation

(908) 901-8516