Botox hope for bladder problems


Experts have uncovered more evidence that Botox could be an effective treatment for an overactive bladder.

Injecting the the toxin directly into the wall of the organ was found to improve symptoms among women considered to have a "weak" bladder.

On average, the number of times they suffered an episode of incontinence fell from six times a day to under once a day.

The number of times they felt an urgent need to go to the toilet also fell, from around eight times a day to three times a day.

About four out of 10 women treated with Botox became continent again after six weeks and a third were still continent six months after treatment. The effects started to wear off after about six months.

The study, published in the journal European Urology, was carried out at eight urogynaecology centres in the UK from 2006 to 2009.

A total of 240 women were split into two groups, with 122 women given Botox and 118 receiving a dummy treatment.

Researchers found improvements across a range of symptoms, including wetting oneself, feeling a need to rush to the toilet, and how often the women "leaked" urine.

However, there were side-effects - including some women needing to use a catheter to go to the toilet because of paralysis in the bladder muscle.

It is unclear how many people in the UK suffer urinary incontinence, but it is thought to affect more than 50 million people in the developed world.

Figures from a previous UK study found that 13% of women and 5% of men had some degree of urinary incontinence. Women are more at risk, owing in part to the effects of childbirth.

Current treatments include pelvic floor exercises, behavioural therapy and drugs that can have side-effects, such as a dry mouth, constipation and blurred vision.

Dr Douglas Tincello, senior lecturer from the University of Leicester and honorary consultant gynaecologist at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, led the latest study.

He said some patients affected by the condition "find it hard to cope", adding: "One patient told me of a harrowing situation whereby she ended up passing water over a supermarket floor."

He continued: "We found that a single treatment with botulinum toxin was a very effective treatment for the symptoms; 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.

"In patients treated with botulinum toxin, incontinence episodes dropped from six a day to less than once a day.

"The number of urgency episodes fell from eight a day to three a day at six weeks. These changes were maintained at a similar level for up to six months.

"The treatment is not without complications; about one in eight women had some difficulty emptying their bladder at some time in the six months after treatment (due to paralysis of the bladder muscle).

"This was treated by teaching the women to use disposable catheters, but the effect does wear off after about six months on average."

Dr Tincello said he was "excited" by the results of the trial, saying Botox "works so much better than the drugs we have."

He continued: "My patients have been delighted with how well it works, even with the chance of needing to use a catheter.

"I'm delighted to say that botulinum toxin has much better results than a six-month course of tablets or bladder training.

"Our work may lead to Botox being licensed to treat overactive bladder syndrome in the UK."

The study was funded by the Moulton Charitable Trust, Wellbeing of Women and the Rosetrees Trust, and is the largest of its kind into Botox not to be funded by drug firms.

Liz Campbell, director of Wellbeing of Women, said: "This is a horrible condition and often means otherwise healthy active women curtail their lives, becoming prisoners in their homes.

"It is rarely discussed but affects many women."


Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Rock to play DC character in superhero film
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    KS1 Teacher Plymouth

    £23500 - £40000 per day: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd a...

    Service Desk Analyst- Desktop Support, Helpdesk, ITIL

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

    **Cover Supervisor's Urgently Required for Southport School's**

    £60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: **Cover Supervisor's Urgently...

    Year 3 Primary Teacher - Dewsbury

    £110 - £155 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: An excellent, last minute opp...

    Day In a Page

    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
    Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

    Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

    They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
    The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

    20 best days out for the summer holidays

    From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
    Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

    All the wood’s a stage

    Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
    Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

    Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

    Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
    Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

    Self-preservation society

    Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
    Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

    Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

    We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor