Botulinum toxin or Botox is effective in treating Urinary Incontinence particularly overactive bladder. Urinary incontinence is loss of bladder control. Symptoms can range from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting. It is a very common problem and is thought to affect more than 50 million people in the developed world. It can happen to anyone, but it becomes more common with age. Most bladder control problems happen when muscles are too weak or too active. If the muscles that keep your bladder closed are weak, you may have accidents when you sneeze, laugh or lift a heavy object. The primary causes of urinary incontinence include Polyuria (excessive urine production) of which, in turn, the most frequent causes are: uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, primary polydipsia (excessive fluid drinking), central diabetes insipidus and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. Polyuria generally causes urinary urgency and frequency, but doesn’t necessarily lead to incontinence.
Besides that, caffeine or cola beverages, enlarged in men and drugs or radiation used to treat prostate cancer, disorders like multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, Parkinson’s disease, strokes and spinal cord injury can all interfere with nerve function of the bladder and hence can cause incontinence. If bladder muscles become too active, you may feel a strong urge to go to the bathroom when you have little urine in your bladder. This is urge incontinence or overactive bladder. Overactive bladder (OAB) is a urological condition defined by a set of symptoms: urgency, with or without urge incontinence, usually with frequency and nocturia. Frequency is usually defined as urinating more than 8 times a day. The etiology of OAB is unclear, and indeed there may be multiple possible causes. It is often associated with over activity of the Detrusor urinae muscle, a pattern of bladder muscle contraction observed during urodynamics.
A single treatment with Botulinum toxin is a very effective for the symptoms of Detrusor over activity (DO) and patients are able to pass water one or two times less often during the day, and also far fewer times when they have bad feelings of urgency and have to rush to the bathroom. On treatment with Botox the times of urgency drops from six a day to less than one a day. Since the effect of the treatment is so much greater than a six month course of tablets, this may lead to botulinum toxin being used much more widely for this bladder condition and it may turn out be cheaper too.