Botulinum toxin injections are injections used to treat overactive bladder and its symptoms, including:
- Sudden, urgent need to urinate
- Frequent need to urinate
- Urge incontinence, the leakage of urine
- Nocturia, the need to get up at least twice during the night to urinate
The therapy involves injecting botulinum toxin, also known as Botox, into the wall of the bladder using local anesthesia. The toxin blocks the signal or impulses being sent from the nerves to the bladder muscle, decreasing the muscle contractions causing the symptoms.
The botulinum toxin is injected with the aid of a cystoscope, a thin lighted tube with a camera on the end passed into the bladder via the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body.
While botulinum toxin injection therapy has proven promising, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved this drug for incontinence. Insurance companies may not cover Botox injection therapy for incontinence.