A new treatment that provides effective relief for urinary incontinence has been trialled by the University of Leicester in the biggest study to date on the treatment for overactive bladders.
Botulinum toxin (trade name Botox) has demonstrated that it is effective in treating overactive bladder (OAB), which commonly effects people over the age of 40.
The results have recently been published in the journal of European Urology by Dr Douglas Tincello, who led the study and is a senior lecturer at the University and honorary consultant gynaecologist at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
OAB is usually caused by the bladder muscle being overactive and contracting at random moments, rather than only when it is convenient to empty the bladder. Detrusor overactivity (DO) is presently treated with pelvic floor muscle exercises, advice on fluid intake and one of a range of tablets. These treatments have shown a mixed response, leaving a grey spot over effective remedies.
The four year study involved 240 women with severe DO who had failed to get better after two different drug treatments. Dr Tincello said: "We found that a single treatment with botulinum toxin was a very effective treatment for the symptoms of DO; patients were able to pass water one or two times less often during the day, and also noticed far fewer times when they had bad feelings of urgency and had to rush to the bathroom.”
He continued to say that the times of urgency dropped from six a day to one a day, and around four in ten women became completely continent again after six weeks. Additionally, a third were still continent again six months after treatment, as they effects start to wear off.
There were some side effects to be reported from the new treatment, with around one in eight patients experiencing some difficulty when emptying their bladder at some point six months after treatment, caused by a paralysis of the bladder muscle.