Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) is probably most well-known for its use in cosmetic treatments for wrinkles, but its unique qualities of blocking nerves have assisted patients with other neurological conditions like chronic migraines, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. And now, with FDA approval, Botox can now be used to treat neurological bladder conditions that lead to urinary incontinence in many individuals.
Botox works in the bladder by relaxing the muscles, thus increasing its capacity and reducing episodes of urinary incontinence. It is injected into the bladder and is effective for an estimated nine months.
In clinical trials with over 691 patients with urinary incontinence due to spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis, all patients who received the Botox treatment found improvements in their incontinence, with significantly fewer episodes than those who with the placebo.
The possible side effects are relatively the same for someone who uses a urinary catheter on a daily basis: potentially a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) could develop, and in some patients their urinary retention may require the use of a urinary catheter.