Botox® Offers Unexpected Relief for Overactive Bladder

Popular medication isn’t just used for lines and wrinkles anymore

TROY, Ohio (August 13, 2019) – Botox® has become well-known as a treatment for facial lines and wrinkles, but it’s just as powerful to help treat a more unseen, but equally common problem among men and women. 

Much like wrinkles, an overactive bladder can develop with age, resulting in a frequent urge to urinate. Up to 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the United States live with overactive bladder symptoms; however, many don’t ask for help, according to the Urology Care Foundation.

Those who experience overactive bladder symptoms should know they are not alone, and that relief may be much more accessible than they think.

“Overactive bladder is treated in a stepwise fashion,” said Robert M. Kohut, MD, a urologist with Premier Health Urology in Troy.  “We typically start with behavior modification to monitor your fluid intake, and decrease caffeinated beverages or things that can irritate the bladder. If that doesn't work, then we move to medications, and if the medications don't work, then that's when Botox enters the realm of treatment.”

Doctors typically begin by assessing the patient to determine if the source of their overactive bladder symptoms is possibly connected to an underlying medical problem such as an infection or cancer.  If none of these issues are present, a course of treatment may eventually be pursued to include the use of Botox to help alleviate their symptoms. 

Botox treatment for overactive bladder is administered by a doctor. A small camera is inserted into the urethra, then guided by a needle directly to the bladder muscle lining. This injection helps prevent the bladder from having too many spasms, and decreases the frequency and urgency of urination. The minimally invasive procedure only takes about 15 to 20 minutes, and the durability of the treatment lasts for about six to nine months.

Botox is derived from the botulinum bacterium which helps prevent nerve endings from releasing certain chemicals responsible for causing the muscle to contract, Dr. Kohut said.

“This medication, which is used to relax wrinkle-causing facial muscles, ultimately does the same thing to relax the bladder,” said Dr. Kohut, who practices with Premier Physician Network.  “The patient only needs to undergo the treatment every six to nine months which is when the Botox typically starts to wear off and symptoms begin to return.”

Some individuals may experience complications after the procedure such as bladder infection, or a minimal amount of blood in their urine. An even smaller percentage experience something known as urinary retention, which is when the bladder maintains too much urine.

This is a rare complication that is easily remedied by administering a catheter to help release the urine from the bladder.  Men tend to be at a higher risk for urinary retention than women since the prostate gland can be a contributing factor. Individuals are still encouraged to consult with their doctor to learn more about the procedure, and determine if it would be right for them.

 “Botox remains a good solution for overactive bladder, especially when medications and behavior modification fail to solve the problem,” Kohut said.

For more information about Botox for overactive bladder or to find a Premier Physician Network physician near you, visit

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