The FDA approved Botox to treat overactive bladder in adults diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury.
In two separate studies done by Botox parent company, Allergan, nearly 700 patients with either multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord injury (SCI) were given a single injection of 200-300 units of Botox in the bladder. Botox reduced involuntary contractions and increased bladder capacity, bringing urinary incontinence to a halt.
Both studies showed statistically significant decreases in the weekly frequency of incontinence episodes in the Botox group compared with placebo, the FDA said
This new method of treatment using Botox, which according to the FDA could last up to nine months, provides an alternative to taking anticholinergic medications used to control urinary leakage.
According to the FDA, the only side effects experienced by the patients were urinary tract infections and urinary retention.
For many people with spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis, gaining effective control over their bladder and staying dry can be a significant step towards improving daily functioning and overall quality of life, Douglas Ingram, CEO of European Allergan, said in a press release.
Nearly 80 percent of people with MS or SCI experience urinary incontinence stemming from a condition called neurogenic detrusor over activity (NDO). This disorder acquired from MS or SCI causes involuntary contractions of the bladder during a rest period while filling, leading to incontinence. MS affects an estimated 400,000 Americans and SCI affects around 250,000 people.
Botox, introduced to the market in 2002 to hide treat the appearance of wrinkles, is chemically made up of a toxin called botulinum toxin that blocks nerve signals. Along with treating urinary incontinence in NDO, Botox is approved for treating migraines, excessive sweating, painful spasms and eye muscle disorders.