How Do Beta3 Agonists Work?

Reviewed on 12/6/2021

How do beta3 agonists work?

Beta3 agonists are a relatively new class of medications prescribed to treat bladder overactivity which can cause urinary urgency and incontinence. Beta3 agonists ease the urination urge and increase bladder capacity by relaxing the bladder’s detrusor smooth muscle while the bladder is filling.

Beta3 agonists work by activating beta3 receptors, which are protein molecules on the detrusor muscle cell membranes. Beta3 receptors are adrenergic receptors that relax the detrusor muscle when activated by the hormones, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.

Beta3 agonists may be prescribed as monotherapy or in combination with a muscarinic antagonist. Muscarinic antagonists bind to muscarinic receptors and block the activity of acetylcholine, a chemical (neurotransmitter) that nerve endings secrete to make the detrusor muscle contract to release urine.

How are beta3 agonists used?

Beta3 agonists are administered as oral tablets or granules in suspensions, approved by the FDA for the treatment of the following conditions:

  • Overactive bladder with symptoms of urge, incontinence, urgency, and frequency
  • Pediatric neurogenic detrusor overactivity, a condition due to nerve damage or disease that causes overactivity of the bladder wall muscles, which normally relax to hold urine.

What are side effects of beta3 agonists?

Side effects of beta3 agonists may include the following:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of beta3 agonist drugs?

Generic and brand names of beta3 agonist drugs include:


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