Botox an effective treatment of incontinence in women, doctors say
October 19, 2012
Most people know Botox for its ability to treat common signs of aging, such as wrinkles around the forehead and mouth, but it seems that doctors are always finding other uses for this "miracle drug," and the latest may come as a surprise. According to United Press International, a team of researchers have found that Botox injections are as effective as anticholinergic medications to treat urge urinary incontinence in women.
Currently, anticholinergic medications are able to treat incontinence by reducing bladder contraction and targeting the bladder muscle, but the drugs often carry nasty side effects, including dry mouth, constipation, and dry eyes.
To see if Botox could be used as an alternative treatment, researchers gathered a group of 250 women with an average age of 58. They compared women who received injections to those taking the oral medication. At the end of the study, they found that those who received Botox were more likely to be cured of urinary leakage six months after they began treatment compared to women who took the anti-cholinergic medicine. However, there were side effects with Botox as well - women were more likely to experience incompletely bladder emptying as well as bladder infections.
"This is the first study to compare the effectiveness of Botox treatments to oral medication," said senior author of the study Dr. Susan F. Meikle, of the National Institutes of Health, according to the news source. "Previously, Botox was reserved for women who had tried oral medications, but found them ineffective. Because we included some women who had not been treated with oral medication before, these results suggest that Botox could be discussed as an option for the first line treatment."
According to Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety, Botox Cosmetic was approved by the FDA to treat the area between the eyebrows, and in 2004, was permitted to be used to treat excessive sweating.
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