Botox gets FDA approval for treatment of urinary incontinence

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Botox (botulinum toxin type A) can be injected for certain types of urinary incontinence, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

Injecting Botox into the bladder can help people who have urinary incontinence due to neurologic conditions such as spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis, as well as overactive bladder. Injecting Botox — performed using cystoscopy — helps to relax the bladder and increases its storage capacity, according to the FDA.  The procedure might require general anesthesia. The therapeutic effects of the drug can last up to nine months for patients with bladder overactivity associated with a neurologic condition.

In a study consisting of 691 patients with incontinence as a result of a spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis, patients treated with Botox saw a statistically significant reduction in the weekly frequency of incontinence episodes compared to the placebo.

"Urinary incontinence associated with neurologic conditions can be difficult to manage,” said George Benson, deputy director, division of reproductive and urologic products. “Botox offers another treatment option for these patients."