Injectable Medications (BOTOX®) For Overactive Bladder (OAB)
BOTOX® treats adults with the OAB symptoms of leaking, going too often, and the strong sudden need to go.
What is BOTOX®?
BOTOX® is a prescription medicine that is injected into the bladder muscle and approved to treat overactive bladder symptoms such as a strong need to urinate with leakage or wetting accidents (urge urinary incontinence) a strong urge to urinate right away (urgency) and urinating often (frequency) in adults 18 years and older when another type of medication (anticholinergic) does not work well enough or cannot be taken.
How Does BOTOX® Treatment Work?
BOTOX® treatment works by calming the nerves that trigger the overactive bladder muscle. In your body, certain chemicals travel from nerve cells to muscle cells to make your bladder contract so that you can urinate. With OAB, these muscles contract uncontrollably, creating leakage, the strong sudden need to go, and going too often.
BOTOX® is injected into the bladder muscle and works on the nerve to help block the signals that trigger OAB, which helps:
- Reduce daily leakage episodes.
- Treat the strong need to urinate right away.
- Reduce the number of times that you need to empty your bladder daily.
Can Botox Really Improve Your Overactive Bladder Symptoms?
When Can I Expect to See Results?
BOTOX® begins to work at the source of your Overactive Bladder to reduce daily leakage episodes after just 2 weeks.
How Long Does BOTOX® Last?
BOTOX® is not a daily treatment. In clinical trials, one BOTOX® treatment provided up to 6 months of OAB symptom improvement. (Your results may vary.) Talk to your doctor about your re-treatment timing, waiting at least 3 months between treatments.
When Should I Consider BOTOX® as Treatment?
BOTOX® is a different type of treatment option to consider when another type of medication (anticholinergic) does not work well enough or cannot be taken.
The American Urological Association (AUA) treatment guidelines list BOTOX® as an appropriate therapy to consider discussing with your doctor when:
- Self-management is not effective.
- Anticholinergic medications do not work well enough or are too difficult to tolerate.
How are BOTOX® Treatments Administered?
Once you and your doctor decide that BOTOX® is right for you, very often it can be administered in your Urologist’s office.
Before your treatment day:
- Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to prevent against a urinary tract infection.
- The week prior to your procedure your doctor will order a urine culture to ensure you do not have an infection.
On the treatment day:
- Your doctor will numb your bladder for a more comfortable treatment.
- Once your bladder is numb, a small lighted tube called a cystoscope will be
inserted through the urethra (the natural opening where the urine comes out).
- BOTOX® is injected through the cystoscope into multiple areas of your
- The entire process takes approximately one hour: 30 minutes to prepare and
administer the BOTOX® and 30 minutes for post-procedure evaluation.
- You will be scheduled for a follow up visit after your procedure for a post void residual to ensure you are emptying your bladder.
Are BOTOX® Treatments Painful?
You should not experience significant pain after the BOTOX® treatment, although it may sting or burn when you urinate the first few times. You may also see some blood in the urine right after treatment, but significant bleeding is rare. See your doctor if either of these symptoms persist.
Risks or Side Effects of BOTOX® Treatments
BOTOX® may cause serious side effects that can be life threatening. Get medical help right away if you have any of these problems any time (hours to weeks) after injection of BOTOX®:
- Problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing, due to weakening of associated muscles, can be severe and result in loss of life. You are at the highest risk if these problems are pre-existing before injection. Swallowing problems may last for several months.
- Spread of toxin effects. The effect of botulinum toxin may affect areas away from the injection site and cause serious symptoms including: loss of strength and all-over muscle weakness, double vision, blurred vision and drooping eyelids, hoarseness or change or loss of voice, trouble saying words clearly, loss of bladder control, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing.
- BOTOX® may cause loss of strength or general muscle weakness, vision problems, or dizziness within hours to weeks of taking BOTOX®. If this happens, do not drive a car, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities.
Other side effects of BOTOX® include: urinary tract infection, painful urination, and/or inability to empty your bladder on your own. If you have difficulty fully emptying your bladder after receiving BOTOX®, you may need to use disposable self-catheters to empty your bladder up to a few times each day until your bladder is able to start emptying again. Other side effects include dry mouth, discomfort or pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, neck pain, and eye problems: double vision, blurred vision, decreased eyesight, drooping eyelids, swelling of your eyelids, and dry eyes.
If you feel that BOTOX® may be an option for you or have other questions, please discuss this treatment option with your physician, request an appointment or contact us today at 815.409.4930.