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Botox Now FDA Approved for Treating Urinary Incontinence

Botox now has approval for treating urinary incontinence in adults with neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury

Clinical trials with Botox recently found that people suffering from urinary incontinence had 20 fewer episodes per week. For those who are not good candidates for anticholinergic medication, Botox is now available as a possible alternative.

The detrusor is a muscle that forms a layer of the bladder. Overactivity of this muscle occurs frequently in people with neurological conditions like MS or SCI. Physicians typically administer oral medications for this problem, known as anticholinergics. It is common for patients to stop taking these medications, often due to intolerance or inadequate response.

Botox, a medication known for its ability to treat muscle spasms and wrinkles formed by muscle movement, was tested as a way to treat involuntary contraction of the detrusor muscle.

During phase III clinical trials, doctors injected 200 units of Botox directly into the muscle. They found that the injection reduced urinary incontinence episodes by nearly 20 episodes per week. It works by relaxing the muscle and increasing bladder capacity. When the effects wore off after about 10 months, the patients were considered for another treatment.

Scott Whitcup, M.D., Allergan's Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer commented:

"Urinary incontinence due to detrusor overactivity in patients with a neurologic condition is a serious medical problem, and for people who do not respond to or cannot tolerate the side effects of an oral anticholinergic medication, BOTOX(R) is a new long-lasting treatment option to reduce urinary incontinence episodes and address a particularly burdensome issue. We are proud to bring the seventh medical use of BOTOX(R) in the United States to market.

This recent FDA approval adds to the growing list of Botox treatment applications, which includes treatment of: glabellar wrinkles, excessive sweating and migraines.
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