Botox provides new wrinkle on treating overactive bladder in women
A study comparing daily oral medication to a single injection of Botox to the bladder found that both approaches provided similar reductions in the number of daily episodes of urinary incontinence in women with an overactive bladder. However, twice as many women in the study said Botox eliminated their symptoms completely. But as with its wrinkle-reducing component, additional injections of Botox are likely to sustain the benefit.
An overactive bladder is characterized by the strong and sudden urge to urinate that can lead to involuntary urine loss. Women are more likely than men to develop an overactive bladder.
Almost 250 women participated in the six-month study that compared traditional medications called anticholinergics to Botox. Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health conducted the study, with results reported in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Botox is already approved for urinary incontinence associated with neurological conditions. Its use for overactive bladder is considered ‘off-label.’ That means it (Botox) is being used for a purpose not listed on the product’s label. Doctors are allowed to do off-label prescribing, which can benefit the individual needs of patients. Drug companies are not allowed to market off-label prescriptions.