Friday, June 22, 2007

Botox Treatment for the Bladder

Botox Inhibits Bladder From Contracting
By Denise Dador

June 21, 2007 (KABC-TV) - Frequency means having to go to the bathroom at least every hour. Urgency means you just can't wait. You've got to go right now. If these symptoms sound familiar, you might want to consider enrolling in a clinical trial for a drug many people are familiar with.

Erika Lopez's job as an associate producer for Mix Magazine keeps her on the go. But every 20 minutes, she'd have to stop what she's doing.

Lopez: "It was a big inconvenience everywhere I went. I had to revolve my life around where I could find a bathroom."

Multiple sclerosis caused Erika to have incontinence and an overactive bladder.

Lopez: "I've been on medication, I've done cathetering, I've done everything you might imagine."

A few months ago, she decided to enroll in an unusual clinical trial that involves injecting Botox in her bladder. Botox is widely known as a facial wrinkle remover.

David Ginsberg, USC Keck School of Medicine: "So instead of injecting Botox, let's say into the brows and taking your wrinkles out, you can inject a small amount of the Botox into the bladder, throughout the bladder."

The needle is inserted through the urethra using a cystoscope. The effect lasts about six to nine months.

The procedure is done right in the doctor's office. It takes about five minutes. Patients will receive anywhere from 100-200 units of Botox and it usually takes about 10 to 20 injections.

The Botox inhibits Lopez's bladder from contracting.

And while Dr. Ginsberg says most patients tolerate the procedure well, Erika says she felt a lot of discomfort.

Lopez: "The level of discomfort is somewhat like childbirth ... The results have been equally as rewarding."

Erika's symptoms of frequency and urgency have completely disappeared. But in her case the Botox has worked a little too well.

Dr. Ginsberg: "I think probably the biggest two risks are that are that it doesn't work, or it works so well you can't go. That would be temporary."

It happens in about 10 percent of patients. Despite this side effect, Erika says the Botox injections have greatly improved her quality of life.

Lopez: "I do injections for MS and then I do that, and I'm a healthy, happy, lively woman."

To find out if you're eligible for the trial or to get more information, call Charlotte Lee at (323) 865-3774, or visit

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