Many of us know the advantages of Botox- keeping us ladies and gents from losing our fountain of youth. There have always been known, but limited medical uses for this lovely substance until now.
A recent study was presented at the American Urogynecologic Society’s 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting, Oct 3-6 in Chicago, and also published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which showed Botox therapy provides another treatment option for patients with certain bladder control problems. These are women who experience leakage, with strong urge to urinate and often cannot make it to the toilet in time.
A blind study was conducted of nearly 250 women from 10 medical centers across the country. These women had severe uncontrollable bladder leakage (they reportedly averaged 5 accidents daily).
Half were treated with medication for 6 months (a drug that blocks nerves that control bladder muscle contractions) and had 1 time placebo injections in their bladder (saline no medication.)
The other half received placebo pills for 6 months and one time Botox injections in their bladder.
These women were followed up 6 months later. Women who received the Botox injection were twice as likely to have complete resolution of symptoms : 27% vs 13% (women on medication). Many were still dry 1 year out!
This is exciting because women with urge incontinence now have a proven alternative to daily medications. These meds are expensive, can have side effects, and for some, may be contraindicated.
The BIG news is that the FDA has approved Botox for incontinence and insurance providers are now beginning to pay for them. If you think Botox may be of help to you for urinary incontinence, please contact our office and schedule a consultation.
-Mary Burns, M.D.