Botox…what is this all about?

By: Anna Myers, MSN, WHNP-BC, CUNP, FNP-BC, RN

It’s all the rage!  It’s being used to treat frown lines and crow’s-feet, migraines and neck spasms and yes ladies... there is botox to treat your overactive bladder too!  Botox has become very popular these days for many reasons. But what is it and how does it work for overactive bladder? Here’s the skinny.

Botox was the first drug to use botulinum toxin type A, which is made from the bacteria that causes botulism.  Over the past 50 years, science has been able to take something that was dangerous and transform it into a medication to treat medical problems. Botulinum toxin blocks nerve activity in the muscles, causing a temporary reduction in muscle activity. Botox is a prescription medication approved to treat overactive bladder symptoms such as a strong need to urinate with leakage, urgency and frequency in adults when other types of oral medications do not work well or cannot be taken.  

In our bodies, certain chemicals travel from nerve cells to muscle cells to make our bladder contract so that we can urinate.  When people have overactive bladder, these muscles contract uncontrollably, creating leakage, the strong sudden need to urinate or urinating too often.  

Botox is injected directly in the muscle of the bladder to block the release of acetylcholine, a chemical that is a signal from your nerves to your muscle cells causing the muscle in your bladder to contract.  This is how botox reduces leakage episodes by 50% or more and urinary urgency and frequency. Botox may last up to 6-9 months before another injection is needed.

Botox is a great treatment for many of our ladies but you must first weigh the benefits and risks with your urologist when considering this option.  I hope you learned more about botox as a treatment for overactive bladder.  Don’t let urological conditions stop you from enjoying life. If you have any questions or desire to further discuss your urological concerns, please call our office at (330) 685-9920.  Thank you!

Dr. Wyneski is board certified in both General Urology and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.  Anna Myers is a Nurse Practitioner board certified in Urology, Women’s Health and Family. We are accepting new patients in our office here in Wooster, Ohio.