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The unimaginable use of Botox in the treatment of overactive bladder

Both women and men have focused to Botox to reverse the aging signs, but now a new medical use for these injections has emerged. As a matter of fact, Botox is being widely used for the treatment of overactive bladder.

Manifested as a sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate, overactive bladder can result in incontinence. Women and men of all ages can develop this medical condition. Actually, the risk for overactive bladder increases with age. Whereas it occurs more often in women, many men experience overactive bladder following a prostate surgery or in case they have prostate problems.

People with this disorder usually awaken several times during the night to urinate and experience incontinence. This is referred to as urge incontinence, that is, incontinence resulting from frequent urge for urination.

Several patients with overactive bladder suffer from increased stress and poor sleep due to frequent urination. Other medical problems can arise due to poor sleep. These include lack of energy, depression and a weakened immune system.

The symptoms are treatable using medication. Though there are many medications to choose from, they all have some adverse effects. Unfortunately, the less expensive a medication is, the more side effects it has. The major side effects are dry eyes, dry mouth (which gets worse when dosage increases are required), confusion and constipation among others.

Patients under treatment for other conditions usually find these side effects very troubling. Several patients stop to take the medications due to the side effects or require some additional prescriptions for managing their side effects.

Recently, OnabotulinumtoxinA, widely referred to as Botox, was studied and consequentially approved as an alternative medication to treat overactive bladder in patients suffering from urge incontinence when another medicine cannot be taken or doesn’t work well enough.

Botox is mainly a protein acquired from the bacteria which cause botulism. It is directly injected into bladder tissue in small doses and works by simply relaxing the bladder muscle, thus decreasing the urge for urination. Botox is injected via a simplified outpatient procedure performed by an urologist or a gynecologist.
Roughly, the treatment takes 20 – 30 minutes after which a careful observation is done for 30 minutes.

According to a published study in the New England Journal of Medicine, about 250 women with urge incontinence were one-time injected with Botox. It was found out that this worked just like daily pills at decreasing instances of urge incontinence at six months.

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