Update: In January 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the use of botox as a cure for overactive bladders to include adults “with overactive bladder who cannot use or do not adequately respond to a class of medications known as anticholinergics”. In other words, botox treatment for urinary incontinence is no longer limited to those with “neurologic conditions” as mentioned in our earlier post below.
From the FDA news release:
“Clinical studies have demonstrated Botox’s ability to significantly reduce the frequency of urinary incontinence,” said Hylton V. Joffe, M.D., director of the Division of Reproductive and Urologic Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Today’s approval provides an important additional treatment option for patients with overactive bladder, a condition that affects an estimated 33 million men and women in the United States.”
Botox’s safety and effectiveness for this new indication were established in two clinical trials of 1,105 patients with symptoms of overactive bladder. Patients were randomly assigned to receive injections of 100 units of Botox (20 injections of 5 units each) or placebo.
Botox Cure For Overactive Bladders: Have you no control over your bladder? Are you leaking or peeing even if you don’t want to? If your urinary incontinence or involuntary leakage of urine is linked with damage to the nervous system because of conditions such as multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury, then there is a new treatment for you because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Botox to treat your condition.
Again, let us emphasize that the FDA approval for the use of Botox for urinary incontinence is limited to those with “neurologic conditions such as spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis”. If you are frequently urinating, or always feel the urgent need to urinate, or are unable to control your bladder but do not have any neurological condition then botox has not been approved by the agency to treat your problem.
However, Reuters is reporting that the makers of the drug “will also try to gain approval to market Botox to a broader population of patients with overactive bladder”. So there is hope yet for those with bladder problems linked to other or unknown causes.
So how is Botox administered to a patient and how does it work? According to the FDA, Botox is injected into the bladder “resulting in relaxation of the bladder, an increase in its storage capacity and a decrease in urinary incontinence.” The effect will last up to ten months.
Botox For Bladder Control Side Effects or Adverse Reactions: Of course, as in any drug the use of Botox to treat urinary incontinence has its own side effects or patients may have an adverse reaction to the drug. The FDA identifies these adverse reactions as 1) urinary tract infection and 2) urinary retention.
So apparently, Botox may help you control your involuntary leaking but it can also make you stop leaking altogether. Should this happen, the FDA states that you may “require self-catheterization to empty the bladder”.
Proven Effective?: How effective is Botox in treating urinary incontinence. Before approving the drug, the FDA looked at two clinical studies which involved 691 patients with bladder problems caused by spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis.
Both studies proved that patients who were treated with Botox had statistically significant lower episodes of involuntary leaking compared to those who were given placebo.