Botox for Overactive Bladder?

Botox is a tried and true wrinkle fighter, but how does it do when it's pitted against urinary incontinence?

In this first head-to-head comparison, a team at Duke University compared a one-time injection of Botox to the more traditional treatment for urge urinary incontinence - daily medication.

Two hundred forty-one women completed the six month study; all averaged five bladder leakage episodes daily when the study started. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either Botox or the pills. At the end of active treatment, women in both groups reported fewer episodes per day.

Complete resolution of symptoms was experienced by 13% of women in the traditional treatment group, and by 27% of women in the Botox group. Both treatments had side effects. The pills caused dry mouth while the Botox injections resulted in more catheterizations and urinary tract infections.

Botox is already approved by the FDA for urinary incontinence caused by spinal cord or other neurological injuries. But Botox injections have been gaining in popularity as an off-label treatment for overactive bladder. As always, ask your doctor what's right for you.

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