Botox for overactive bladders? Study says it works
Injections can control bladder contractions
Last Updated: 246 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - It's well known that Botox gets rid of wrinkles, but now the injections are being used to treat overactive bladder, a condition affecting millions of women.
Women with overactive bladder have a sudden, urgent need to go, and sometimes they're in the bathroom so often it keeps them up at night.
According to Dr. Douglass Hale, a urogynecologist with the IU School of Medicine, one Botox injection paralyzes the bladder muscle to prevent contractions that cause leaks.
"It prevents the release of something called acetylcholine, which causes the muscle to contract," Hale said. "With the contraction being eliminated, the symptoms of overactive bladder can be treated successfully in many patients."
Like with wrinkles, the Botox effect doesn't last forever. Patients must get another injection within nine months to keep the bladder symptoms under control.
"For most patients, when their symptoms are this severe and they've failed all other treatments, this is a wonderful option for them," Hale said. "(It's) very easy to go to an office (for the injection) and they tolerate it well."
Botox for incontinence must still get the green light from the Food and Drug Administration.
The feds approved it for the condition related to spine injury or multiple sclerosis last year, but a broader approval means insurance will likely cover the costs to treat a leaky bladder.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.