Botox is a popular treatment option for people who suffer from bladder control issues, such as urge incontinence or overactive bladder. Research shows that the drug is 70 to 80% effective for those who have leaks or sudden urgency-related incontinence, according to urologist Sandip Vasavada, MD. Most patients see a reduction in involuntary urine loss within two weeks of receiving the Botox injections and full effects by 12 weeks. The results of the treatment last about six months and you may receive additional injections. A possible side effect is urinary retention, and it is not recommended for men at risk or history of prostate enlargement.
In studies of the use of Botox for symptoms of overactive bladder (HAV) in adults, people reported improvements in their symptoms and quality of life. The differences in efficacy between Botox and InterStim were small, but statistically significant. Botox helps block nerve signals in the bladder that cause the release of urine and prevent involuntary loss of urine. It is injected into the detrusor muscle (the main muscle of the bladder) to block nerve signals to the muscle. However, in some patients (about 6% in clinical trials) it may be a problem and may require the temporary use of a catheter to help empty the bladder. You don't need general anesthesia for Botox injections into the bladder, but your doctor will give you a local anesthetic to temporarily numb your bladder so you don't feel the injections, similar to how a dentist numbs your mouth before filling a cavity. Botox is an option to treat urge incontinence or overactive bladder in people who have not been successful with other treatment options.
It is important to understand that urge incontinence and overactive bladder are not caused by physical activity or movement, such as coughing, exercising, or sneezing. In addition, Botox has been approved for use in children 5 years of age or older with detrusor hyperactivity caused by a neurological condition. If you have trouble urinating after Botox injections into your bladder, you should contact your doctor. Overall, Botox is an effective treatment option for bladder problems. Most people get relief from symptoms quickly, in just a few days. Learn what is involved in diagnosing an overactive bladder, such as keeping a symptom diary, a urinalysis, and other medical tests.