FDA Approves Botox as Treatment for Overactive Bladder

Botox isn’t just useful for making your facial wrinkles fade. It’s also used to treat muscle disorders, excess sweating, and acne. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved it for another use; treating overactive bladder.

Overactive bladder is a condition where the bladder’s muscles flex too much, which results in having to go to the washroom too frequently, or without warning. The FDA has approved Botox for adult patients who cannot use, or don’t respond to, anticholinergic medication. Overactive bladder is said to affect 33 million men and women in the U.S. alone.

The already-versatile Botox adds another medical use to the list

The way Botox works in treating OB is largely the same way it works for your facial muscles; relaxation. By relaxing the bladder walls’ muscles, the bladder contracts less, meaning less urges to visit the water closet. A study conducted on 1,100 patients who suffer from OB found that those who were treated with 100 units of Botox (20 injections, totalling five units each) experienced incontinence nearly two times less a day after 12 weeks than those treated with a placebo.

Patients who undergo Botox treatment for OB can and will need to have the treatment repeated, but the FDA recommends the frequency be no greater than 12 weeks between treatments.

Fonzie Endorses Botox for Treatment of Muscle Disorder

The Fonz – that loveable greaser from Happy Days – is spreading the good word about the wonders of Botox. However, his two-thumbed endorsement has more to do with health and well being than looking cool.

No, The Fonz has not jumped the shark – Henry Winkler, the man behind the leather jacket, has made it his mission to espouse the benefits of Botulinum treatment for those who suffer from Upper Limb Spasticity.

Henry Winkler supports Botox for Upper Limb Spasticity

Upper Limb Spasticity, or ULS, is a debilitating condition that can come on the heels of a stroke or spinal chord trauma and is associated with muscular disorders such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.

“The arm, hand, wrist or fingers freeze up in odd shapes. The fingers push into the palm, the upper arm is frozen into the chest or out like a wing,” says Winkler. Winkler’s mother Ilse suffered from the condition for ten years.

Not only is the condition debilitating, it can also be a source of embarrassment for those who must live with it. Treatment with Botox might provide patients with happier days.

Botox irons out wrinkles by relaxing the muscles in your face that cause them. The same muscle relaxing properties can be used to treat muscular disorders, such as ULS.

Botox isn’t a cure, but it is a source of relief. “You don’t get use of the hand back, but you get the ability to try therapies on it,” says Winkler. Patients can regain self-esteem as well, by being able to do things the able-bodied take for granted, such as dressing themselves and clipping their nails.

If you or someone you love suffers from ULS, or another muscular disorder that Botox can help alleviate, you couldn’t ask for a cooler spokesperson than Fonzie.