When you think of Botox injections, you probably think of getting rid of unwanted wrinkles around the eyes or forehead, but recently the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved using the injections to help patients with neurological conditions who suffer from incontinence, or an overactive bladder.
Botox injections paralyze the bladder muscle to prevent contractions that cause urgency to urinate or leak. Although medications and behavioral modifications are treatment options, many patients, especially the elderly, do not respond to these methods and need a more aggressive approach.
“About 80 percent of patients with neurological conditions, such as spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, see improvement after about a week, and the results can last four to nine months,” said Charles Nager, MD, co-director of the UC San Diego Women’s Pelvic Medicine Center at UC San Diego Health System.
Incontinence is the seventh condition, including chronic migraines and underarm sweating, that Botox has been approved to treat since the drug first arrived on the market as a wrinkle reducer in 2002.