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ask: Has anyone tried Botox injections to treat bladder spasms or incontinence? If so, what happened?

By Pat Elliott HERWriter Guide
 
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I've gotten an inquiry from an EmpowHER member, and need your help to assist her. She sought a second opinion from a new urologist who has recommended the use of Botox injections to treat her bladder spasms. Her primary urologist says he will not do this procedure because he doesn't believe there is enough data available. The treatment is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

She would really like to know if any of you have tried this, and what type of experience you had. Did the process help you? If so, for how long? Was it a treatment of last resort? Would you recommend it to others? Why or why not?

I've done some initial research, and learned that while this isn't an FDA-approved treatment it is being used successfully for some patients. According to the Mayo Clinic, Botox is sometimes injected into the muscles of the bladder to treat incontinence because it blocks the release of chemicals which cause muscle spasms. The injection is given under anesthesia and is effective for nine months to a year. Following are links to Mayo Clinic articles about this procedure:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/urinary-incontinence/treatment.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bladder-control-problems/WO00123

In addition, the following links also provide information on the use of Botox to control painful bladder spasms:

http://www2.wfubmc.edu/articles/Continence+Center/

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0CYD/is_20_37/ai_93531942/

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2007/12/05/33254.aspx

http://www.poise.com/Learn/LifeAndHealth/BladderHealth/BotoxHelp.aspx

Since this treatment is not approved by the FDA, it's not usually covered by insurance. Some references said the cost was about $300 per injection, and length of time cited for the treatment's effectiveness was generally cited as between six to nine months.

If any of you can offer information that will assist this member it would be greatly appreciated.

Add a Comment11 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I had botox injections treat an overactive bladder, it's made no difference to the amount of time I need to urinate. I now have to self catherterise every Two hours including through the night, which is much worse as I have to clean myself each time, and organise all the other paraphernalia associated with self catheterization. I am desperate, as I am unable to have a reasonable nights sleep.

June 10, 2014 - 5:14am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hello. i had botox for an oa bladder last june and it has changed my life. The procedure itself was a bit uncomfortable sometimes painful depending on where the bladder was injected. My consultant told me that when the botox started to wear off to ring his secretary and arrange for the procedure to be done again. I went in yesterday to have the botox again. Its not a cure and i might need to have repeat injections for a while yet. However putting up with the discomfort during the procedure is well worth the benifits of the botox. I am from the Uk.

April 5, 2014 - 1:28am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I am considering getting Botox for my bladder problems. Vesicare and Myrbetriq have not worked for me. I am really scared to try this. If anyone has any recent experiences with Botox I would love to hear about it--good or bad. I live in Canada and have Blue Cross coverage (and pay over $300 per month for this) but have been told this Botox procedure is not covered. I hear it can cost over $1000 and lasts anywhere from 6 months to 18 months. I do not have that kind of money . It seems like I may have to put up with this the rest of my life. I may not even be a candidate for this as I have suffered and still suffer from urinary tract infections. I see my urologist tomorrow.

January 19, 2014 - 4:24pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I have neurogenic bladder. Medicine did not work so they first injected 100 units in my bladder. That seemed to help a little but not enough reliefs. So 4 months later followed up with 200 units injected. Now have success. I say go for its

March 7, 2013 - 2:39pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I have had botox injections for overactive bladder twice in my life after many years of taking medications that did not work. It truly gave me my life back. I am in the process of looking for a urologist that will again do the injections. The urologist that I previously used moved away. In my experience, the injections last around 18 months. I would do these the rest of my life if I have to. It is better than taking medication that doesn't work or not having any type of life. It is degrading to tell your 7 year old son you can't take him swimming. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it. Insurance really needs to pay for this treatment. They pay for the use of botox for migraines why not overactive bladder which is an everyday occurrence?

November 28, 2010 - 6:02pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

hi there i have ms and i need to use cathter but i have trouble doing it because i have a lot of bladder spasms can u please tell me if any 1 knows if botox will help manythanks

July 24, 2010 - 5:24pm
Pat Elliott HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Anon- Research has found that Botox can be helpful for bladder spasms in patients with MS. You can find more information here: http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/multiple-sclerosis-treating-botu...

The MS Society provides information about spasicity at this link: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/what-we-know-a...

Hope this helps! Pat

July 26, 2010 - 6:37pm
Pat Elliott HERWriter Guide

Anon - Thanks for the feedback, and it's great to know that you've found relief and a "normal" life. I'm sure it was difficult for you to have to plan your life around the availability of restroom facilities. I hope that your success continues and you have fun along with your new "freedom."
Take care, Pat

June 8, 2010 - 5:11pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I had Botox injections for urinary incontinence 3 months ago. After 5 or 6 days the number of times I had to urinate decreased from approximately 15 times per day to 5. I no longer wake up at night and I feel "normal" after a lifetime of accidents, frequency and embarrassment. I cannot believe what a change these injections provided for me. Sadly, I understand that the injections will wear off and that I will have to undergo the procedure again. A small price for freedom.

June 8, 2010 - 2:27pm
Pat Elliott HERWriter Guide

FB - Thanks so much for writing to us and sharing this information about the use of Botox for urinary incontinence. I'm glad to know your friend has done well, and I hope you will let us know of your results and progress over time, especially in terms of how long the effects last. We certainly hope your results are as successful as those of your friend.
Take care,
Pat

February 2, 2010 - 5:54pm
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