||INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: The aims of this study were to investigate patterns of prescribing anticholinergic drugs among women with urinary incontinence (UI) and to identify factors associated with prescription of these drugs. METHODS: We analysed questionnaire data on UI from 21,735 women older than 20 years who participated in a cross-sectional population-based study in Nord-Trondelag county, Norway (the HUNT study). These data were linked at the individual level to a national prescription database, and analysed using a multivariate logistic regression model. RESULTS: Among the women with UI, 4.5% had been prescribed an anticholinergic drug during the previous 12 months. Prescription was most frequent in women with urge UI (10.5%) and mixed UI (7.0%). Of women with UI without treatment with an anticholinergic drug, 1.8% obtained such a prescription during the subsequent 12 months, corresponding to 3.1% of women with urge UI and 3.0% of women with mixed UI. Characteristics significantly associated with starting treatment were age above 50 years, urge or mixed UI, severe or very severe symptoms, consumption of four or more cups of coffee per day, and having visited a doctor for UI. No association was found with marital status, parity, smoking, alcohol, body mass index or anxiety/depression. CONCLUSIONS: In this population-based study, 4.5% of women with UI were prescribed an anticholinergic drug, and the 12-month incidence of starting treatment was 1.8%. Age above 50 years, urge or mixed UI, severe symptoms, high coffee consumption and having visited a doctor for UI were factors associated with first-time drug prescription.