Overactive bladder is a common condition, affecting 30% of men and 40% of women—about 1 in 3 folks over the age of 40.
An overactive bladder can cause leakage (also known as incontinence), which as you can imagine, can come with self-consciousness, emabarrassment, and other emotional hurdles.
The good news is that there are several treatments out there that can help—and one of them just got a little bit less expensive: generic Enablex (darifenacin) has been approved and is in pharmacies now.
What is Enablex (darifenacin) used for?
Enablex (and generic darifenacin) are used to treat overactive bladder (OAB) with symptoms of urge urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency. Urge incontinence just means that you feel a sudden need to use the bathroom (day or night), with or without leakage.
There are two other types of incontinence that Enablex isn’t prescribed for. One is stress incontinence, where you may have leakage during physical activity, sneezing, coughing, or laughing. The last type, mixed, is what it sounds like: you may have symptoms of both stress and urge incontinence.
How are Enablex and darifenacin taken?
Both brand and generic Enablex (darifenacin) are available as an extended-release tablet in 7.5 mg and 15 mg strengths.
When was darifenacin approved by the FDA?
Darifenacin extended-release tablets, the generic of Enablex, from Anchen/Par Pharmaceuticals was approved by the FDA on March 13, 2016.
What are the side effects of Enablex?
The most common side effects include constipation, dry mouth, headache, indigestion, nausea, urinary tract infection, accidental injury, and flu-like symptoms.
What if I want to keep taking brand-name Enablex?
If you feel strongly about continuing to take Enablex instead of generic darifenacin, ask your doctor to handwrite BRAND MEDICALLY NECESSARY on your next prescription. This means the pharmacy is not permitted to substitute with the generic.
Otherwise, you can still request that your pharmacist fill the brand medication for you—just make sure to let them know before having them fill your prescription.
If you go this route, I recommend providing a contact number so the pharmacy can call you and let you know the cost before you come in to pick up your prescription. Most of the time it will be extremely expensive to fill a brand once a generic has become available, and a quick call can save you time and money.
Brand-name Enablex will definitely be more expensive if you’re paying cash—but you may also run into trouble if you’re insured. Insurance companies may not be willing to cover the cost of the brand now that a generic is available, so you may also want to check with your plan before you fill.
Is there anything I can do to reduce my costs more?
The manufacturer of Enablex offers a Patient Savings Card, which is still available. https://activatemysavings.com/enablex/ Most eligible insured patients will pay no more than $25 per 30-day supply for each of up to 12 prescriptions fills.
Are there any similar medications to Enablex (darifenacin)?
Yes—all of these medications are similar to Enablex (darifenacin), and most also offer a generic alternative:
- Ditropan (oxybutynin) and Ditropan XL (oxybutynin ER)
- Detrol (tolterodine) and Detrol LA (tolterodine ER)
- Sanctura (trospium) and Sanctura XR (trospium ER)
- Toviaz (fesoterodine)
- Vesicare (solifenacin)
If Enablex or generic darifenacin isn’t covered by your insurance, you may want to talk to your doctor about trying one of these alternatives.