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10 Uses for Botox That Aren't Wrinkle-Related


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Urinary Incontinence
Studies show that doctors can provide urinary incontinence patients with some relief by injecting their bladders with Botox.  Peter Dazeley/Getty Images
Studies show that doctors can provide urinary incontinence patients with some relief by injecting their bladders with Botox.  Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Some people experience a condition called urinary incontinence, in which an overactive bladder contracts too often or without warning. That can cause them to have a constant urge to run to the bathroom — and they may not make it in time.

But studies indicate that doctors may be able to provide urinary incontinence patients with some relief by injecting their bladders with Botox. In one 2015 study, researchers at New York University's Langone Medical Center followed 227 people who had Botox injections — typically two per year or less — over a four-year period. About nine in 10 patients experienced a decrease of 50 percent or more in the number of daily episodes of incontinence, and between 44 and 52 percent of patients saw the condition vanish [source: Mozes].

Botox reduces activity in the bladder muscle by causing it to relax, thereby lessening episodes of urinary incontinence. The FDA approved Botox for treating urinary incontinence in 2013.

However, a 2015 study of 300 patients by Michigan-based urologists did point to a possible downside. They found that a fifth of their patients who received a single injection suffered acute urinary retention that required insertion of a catheter to relieve. Even so, 40 percent of the patients in the study were sufficiently pleased with the results and wanted a second injection [source: Mozes].


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