Although many patients think of Botox as just a treatment for wrinkles, this injectable solution is much more than a cosmetic treatment: it also works to treat overactive bladder (OAB), a condition in which the urge to urinate is frequent and abnormal. In these treatments, Botox’s muscle-relaxing qualities are used to paralyze the bladder muscle, controlling its contractions and reducing the urge to urinate.
Botox treatments for OAB are quick and non-invasive, requiring minimal downtime and little effort. During this process, the solution is injected into the bladder muscle by a trained, licensed medical professional. After the treatment is complete, you should observe the patient until urination occurs to ensure that no adverse effects have transpired. Generally, the full effects of this procedure will be felt 2 weeks after the first injection.
This treatment is expected to last for around 8 months. After this period, your patient will need to have a consultation to determine whether another Botox injection is needed. However, all Botox treatments for OAB should be spaced 12 months apart.
Side effects of this treatment may include hematuria (bloody urine), urinary retention (an inability to fully empty the bladder), urinary tract infection, fatigue, and insomnia. If these adverse effects persist, your patient should seek medical attention. Additionally, in rare cases, allergic reaction may occur. This requires immediate medical attention.
If your patient has an active urinary tract infection or cannot fully empty their bladder, they cannot receive treatment with Botox for urinary incontinence. If your patient has muscle or nerve conditions, such as ALS, myasthenia gravis, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome, they may be at risk of serious side effects, such as difficulty breathing or swallowing. Pregnant and breastfeeding patients should use this treatment with caution, as its effects on infants are unknown.
If your patient is suffering from urinary incontinence, Botox for OAB may be an option. When compared to other methods of treatment for this issue, such as medication, nerve stimulation, and surgery, Botox is less involved and has a much shorter recovery period.