McKnight’s Feature
Published in The New England Journal of Medicine

Botox and oral meds equally effective in treating incontinence in women, study says

Botox injections and oral medications both work well in reducing urinary incontinence in women, though Botox is more likely to completely resolve symptoms, a recent study showed.

Researchers at Loyola University, Chicago, studied a group of 241 women with urinary urgency incontinence for six months. The women were split into two groups — one group was treated with a daily oral medication from a class of drugs known as anticholinergics, while women in the other group underwent one injection of onabotulinum toxin-A (Botox) to the bladder plus a daily oral placebo pill.

The average reduction in the frequency of urgency incontinence episodes for women taking the oral medication was 3.4 episodes per day. For women who were given Botox, the average reduction was 3.3. The proportion of women with complete resolution of urgency incontinence was 13% with anticholinergics and 27% with Botox, according to the study.

“Prior to this study, we reserved onabotulinum toxin-A for women who did not respond to traditional oral medication,” study author Linda Brubaker, M.D., from Loyola University in Chicago. “However, this research supports the use of either of these approaches as appropriate first-line treatment in women.”


Dr. Weinberg’s Thoughts:

Botox to the bladder is an innovative approach for patients who suffer from the debilitating symptoms of urinary frequency, urgency, and at times, incontinence. For those patients who prefer an alternative to chronic medication and the side effects associated with them, Botox to the bladder offers a promising approach. This can be done in an office setting with no pain nor down time. Responses are seen within a few weeks. Dr. Weinberg has administered Botox to the bladder and is comfortable recommending and administering this treatment.  To make an appointment or for additional information, please contact Dr. Weinberg by calling 914-666-4346.