Astellas Pharma Canada Inc.

Astellas Pharma Canada Inc.

November 16, 2006 11:00 ET

Astellas Pharma Canada Inc.: Vesicare'TM' 'Solefinacin Succinate' Now Available in Canada

MARKHAM, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 16, 2006) - Vesicare (Solifenacin succinate) has been approved by Health Canada and is now available for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB). Approximately 12 per cent of Canadians suffer from OAB(1) a chronic medical condition causing a person to feel the overwhelming urge to urinate even when their bladder is not full.

Vesicare is a new once-daily oral treatment for OAB, offering relief and control over the number one symptom of OAB - the sudden urge to urinate.(2)(3) Additionally, Vesicare treats the other symptoms of OAB, including frequency and urge incontinence.

"Overactive bladder is an embarrassing yet common medical condition that can have a significant impact on a patient's quality of life," says Dr. Sender Herschorn, Division Chair, Urology, University of Toronto. "A new medication is good news for people with overactive bladder."


In an individual with OAB, the bladder muscle (known as the detrusor muscle) starts to contract while the bladder is filling with urine, rather than when the bladder is full. This results in patients experiencing urgency - the number one symptom of OAB - frequency, and urge incontinence (the involuntary loss of urine).(2) This can occur at any time during the day or night.(4)(5)

"Many patients are embarrassed to speak with their physician about OAB, feeling like they just have to grin and bear it. Often sufferers will develop coping techniques such as mapping out bathroom locations, carrying extra clothing - always concerned about having an accident," states Dr. Herschorn. "We need to open up the dialogue around OAB to help stop women from suffering in silence."

Often thought of as a condition affecting seniors, OAB is not caused by aging. The overall cause of OAB is unknown but possible risk factors may include pregnancy, menopause, obesity, growth of the prostate gland in men, nerve damage or neurological disease (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, etc.) or stroke.(6)(2)

While women are more likely to suffer with OAB than men (13 per cent vs. 11 per cent)(1) OAB remains an often under-diagnosed and under-treated condition.


Vesicare was approved by Health Canada in February 2006 and is a
once-daily oral medication. Vesicare is indicated for the treatment of overactive bladder in adults with symptoms of urinary urgency, urge urinary incontinence, and urinary frequency. It is not indicated for the management of stress incontinence, which can occur when the bladder leaks urine during exercise, coughing, or sneezing.(2)

Vesicare targets and is highly specific for muscarinic receptors in the bladder, which control the detrusor muscle and cause it to relax. This allows the bladder to fill normally and reduces the sense of urgency that a patient feels.


Vesicare, 5 mg and 10 mg, has been evaluated in four (4) placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trials involving over 3,000 men and women.(2)

"In a head-to-head study examining the treatment of overactive bladder with solifenacin succinate, it was demonstrated that solifenacin provides superior relief and control over most symptoms of overactive bladder," states Dr. Luc Valiquette, urologist, and Chief of Urology at le Centre Hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal (CHUM).

About Astellas Pharma Canada Inc.

Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc. is highly focused on customers and their needs and is committed to making a difference in urology. Astellas Pharma Canada is dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. It is one of the Astellas Group of companies in North America and an affiliate of Astellas Pharma Inc., located in Tokyo. The organization is committed to becoming a global pharmaceutical leader by combining outstanding R&D and marketing capabilities. Additional corporate information is available at

Vesicare is a trademark of Astellas Pharma Inc.


(1) Irwin D, Milsom I, Hunskaar S, et al. Population-Based Survey of Urinary Incontinence, Overactive Bladder, and Other Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms in Five Countries: Results of the EPIC Study. European Urology. In Press.

(2) Vesicare Product Monograph, as at February 2006.

(3) Abrams P, Cardozo L, Fall M, et al. The standardization of terminology of lower urinary tract function: Report from the Standardisation Sub-committee of the International Continence Society. Neurourol Urodyn 2002;21:167-178.

(4) Retrieved August 21, 2006 from:

(5) Milsom I, Abrams P, Cardozo L, et al. How widespread are the symptoms of an overactive bladder and how are they managed? A population-based prevalence study. BJU International; 2001 Jun;87(9):760-6.

(6) Chapple CR, Artibani W, Cardozo LD, et al. The role of urinary urgency and its measurement in the overactive bladder symptom syndrome: current concepts and future prospects. BJU International; 2005 Feb;95(3):335-40

Contact Information

  • Communications MECA/Medicomm
    Rebecca Lindstrom Holohan
    (416) 425-9143 ext 230
    Astellas Pharma Canada Inc.
    Barbara Reynolds
    (905) 946-5601