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UCSD To Use Botox To Treat Bladder Issues

UC San Diego Health Systems announced today it is recruiting participants for a clinical trial of how effective Botox can be for treating severe urinary incontinence.

Botox injections are most often used for cosmetic purposes, but the toxin has also been approved for use to treat migraine headaches, underarm perspiration and, now, those with neurological conditions that result in an overactive bladder.

Treatment includes 15-20 injections into different areas of the bladder to paralyze the muscle to prevent contractions that cause the urgency to urinate.

"About 80 percent of patients with neurological conditions, such as spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, see improvement after about a week, and the results can last four to nine months," said Dr. Charles Nager, co-director of the UC San Diego Women's Pelvic Medicine Center at UC San Diego Health System. "It can really be life changing for someone with severe incontinence issues."

The trial will compare the effectiveness of Botox versus sacral nerve stimulation, which involves placing a device under the skin that generates electrical impulses that affect the sacral nerve.

Patients involved in the clinical trial are required to have already tried two drugs that failed to solve their incontinence issues.

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