Newer therapies

Researchers are looking into new drugs and therapies, including onabotulinumtoxin type A (Botox).

Onabotulinumtoxin type A (Botox). Injections of Botox into the bladder muscle may benefit people who have an overactive bladder. Botox blocks the actions of acetylcholine and paralyzes the bladder muscle.

Studies have found that Botox significantly improves symptoms of incontinence and causes few side effects. Some studies indicate it may increase urinary tract infections, but the data aren't conclusive. Benefits can last up to nine months. Botox may be helpful for people who haven't responded to other medications. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved this drug for incontinence, so it may not be covered by some insurance.

The FDA warns that adverse reactions including respiratory arrest and death may occur after the use of Botox for both approved and unapproved uses.

See your doctor

When talking to your doctor, carefully review all the medications you're taking, including over-the-counter drugs or herbal remedies. Some medications increase bladder control problems. Others may interact with incontinence medications in a way that increases symptoms. Your doctor can help you decide if you need medicine to treat your bladder control problem and, if so, which one may be best for you.

Jul. 30, 2011 See more In-depth