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Botox to Treat Urinary Urgency in MS

February 15, 2017

Botox has been identified as a way to treat urinary urgency, which is a common symptom of MS patients.

Most often associated with the beauty industry, Botulinum toxin (mostly known as botox), is used to relax facial muscles. When the muscles relax, wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes will disappear.

In urinary problems, with a cystoscope, urologists inject Botox into numerous sites in the bladder. The toxin works by deactivating proteins involved in neurotransmitter release from nerve terminals. As neurotransmitter levels decrease, the underlying muscles weaken and/or become paralyzed.

"The bottom-line gist is that we found that Botox has a good, long-lasting, safe and consistent effect over time among patients who do initially respond well to it and choose to continue treatment," said Dr. Victor Nitti, vice chair of the department of urology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

Nitti, who is also director of NYU's department of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, was involved in a study that tested the effects of Botox for an overactive bladder.

In this study, the only one funded by Botox maker Allergen Inc., Nitti and his colleagues analyzed data on 227 patients who received Botox injections (averaging less than two shots per year) over a four-year period. Roughly nine in 10 patients saw a 50 percent or greater drop in daily urinary incontinence episodes. Between 44 percent and 52 percent of patients saw all incontinence episodes end.

Quality-of-life scores doubled and tripled throughout the study, the researchers found. The most frequent serious side effect was a urinary tract infection, but the research team stressed that that risk did not increase with continued treatment.

Via WebMD