Botox Treatment for Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder (OAB) is the frequent or sudden urge to urinate with little or no ability to control urination.
While OAB is not life-threatening, it can cause an enormous amount of embarrassment or hesitation to participate in regular activities. For some individuals, symptoms of OAB simply become a way of life. However, this does not have to be the case. There are treatment plans that will work.
While some people may feel like they should suffer in silence, this is not an option you should consider. Know that proper diagnosis will help find the best treatment plan.
Typical plans may include:
- Establishing a fluid intake schedule
- Learning bladder-holding techniques
- Using anticholinergic drugs
- Using Botox as treatment for overactive bladder
The last option may surprise you a bit. After all, most people use Botox to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles brought on by aging. However, the same properties in Botox that help firm the face can also be used to strengthen the bladder.
How Botox for OAB Works
There are a variety of medications for OAB symptoms that have been around for years.
However, in recent years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Botox as a treatment plan for individuals who do not respond well to traditional medications used for OAB. Some of these medications cause unfavorable side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, and even memory loss.
Essentially, Botox works to settle the nerves in the bladder muscle that are often overstimulated in individuals who suffer from OAB. The medication is injected directly into the bladder muscle for optimal results.
Botox injections are convenient as they can be administered in your doctor’s offer in a matter of minutes. Afterward, you will be asked to wait for about 30 minutes and until you urinate to ensure that you do not have a reaction to the shot and that your bladder is operating correctly.
A single Botox injection usually lasts up to eight months. However, your doctor will be able to evaluate the frequency of the injections based on your tolerance and how well your body responds to the treatment.
The FDA does not have a suggested timeline for how long you should use Botox therapy to treat OAB, but they do suggest that each injection should be at least 12 weeks apart.
Three overactive bladder surgery options include Botox injections, bladder augmentation, and sacral nerve stimulation. Learn more about each procedure here.
Of course, as with any treatment, results will vary. However, studies have indicated that most patients will see a considerable difference in symptoms in about two weeks following the injection.
Incontinence is reported to have significantly decreased after one month following the treatment and often remains that way for at least a year.
However, it is also noted that some people will have multiple injections per year while others will only have a single dose. Some of this depends on the severity of your OAB symptoms and how well your body responds to the treatment.
Potential Side Effects
While many individuals have experienced a great benefit of using Botox to treat OAB symptoms, there are some possible side effects.
The most notable side effects are that some people experience more urinary tract infections with prolonging Botox use. It should be noted that dry mouth, which is a common side effect in other OAB medications, is not linked to the use of Botox injections. However, other patients experience no side effects at all.
What sets this option apart is that Botox injections are only done sporadically while other medications must be administered daily making it a much more convenient choice than different treatment plans.
Speak With a Medical Professional
If you suspect that you have OAB, you should discuss treatment options with your doctor. While Botox is undoubtedly an advantageous choice, this treatment plan is usually chosen if other medications do not work.
Now, people have another option for relief of symptoms that interrupt their daily life. Speak with your doctor to learn more about the best treatment option for your situation.