Can now be used to treat overactive bladder

Botox isn’t just useful for making your facial wrinkles fade (although it’s certainly useful for that). It’s also used to treat muscle disorders, excess sweating, and acne. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved it for another use; treating overactive bladder.

Overactive bladder is a condition where the bladder’s muscles flex too much, which results in having to go to the washroom too frequently, or without warning. The FDA has approved Botox for adult patients who cannot use, or don’t respond to, anticholinergic medication. Overactive bladder is said to affect 33 million men and women in the U.S. alone.

The way Botox works in treating OB is largely the same way it works for your facial muscles; relaxation. By relaxing the bladder walls’ muscles, the bladder contracts less, meaning less urges to visit the water closet. A study conducted on 1,100 patients who suffer from OB found that those who were treated with 100 units of Botox (20 injections, totalling five units each) experienced incontinence nearly two times less a day after 12 weeks than those treated with a placebo.

Patients who undergo Botox treatment for OB can and will need to have the treatment repeated, but the FDA recommends the frequency be no greater than 12 weeks between treatments.