Study shows Botox can relieve bladder symptoms
Many studies have already been conducted on the potential benefits of Botox, ranging from treatment for depression to a remedy for migraines. Now, a recent study out of the UK suggests that the injectable typically used to limit the appearance of frown lines might have another medical gain.
According to News Medical, researchers at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust looked at the effectiveness of Botox in treating symptoms of an overactive bladder in 1,100 patients. The researchers found that, when compared to traditional drug remedies, Botox injections were three times more likely to ease overactive bladder symptoms over a 12-week period.
"The EMBARK study highlighted that patients who took Botox to relieve overactive bladder symptoms noticed significant improvements in bladder control ... and fewer side effects such as constipation and dry mouth," Professor Chris Chapple, consultant urologist at the hospital and one of the study's researchers, said in a statement. "This means we can begin giving our patients an effective treatment if lifestyle and dietary interventions fail."
Chapple added that the Botox injections, which were given directly to the bladder via a flexible instrument, also had a lower risk of infection.
This new research is not only positive news for the UK medical community, where the Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency has licensed the use of Botox, but also in the US. While Botox has been viewed for years as a plastic surgery procedure, increasing research of its medical benefits has led the Federal Drug Administration to approve the use of the injectable for treating various ailments. In 2011, the FDA announced that Botox can be used for those with neurological conditions, such as spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis, that cause urinary incontinence.
The FDA also approved the use of Botox for restoring moderate to severe crow's feet last September, while the injectable migraine treatment was approved in 2010. However, the agency has yet to OK Botox as a medication for depression.