The face-freezing pharmaceutical injection Botox gained another medical use on Wednesday when the US government approved it for use in some patients with overactive bladders.
The new application was given the nod by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat people with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury who suffer from urinary incontinence and must manage it with medication or a catheter.
“Urinary incontinence associated with neurologic conditions can be difficult to manage,” said George Benson, deputy director of FDA’s division of Reproductive and Urologic Products.
“Botox offers another treatment option for these patients.”
The new method allows a physician to inject Botox into a patient’s bladder, where it relaxes the muscles and allows more urine to be stored.
Clinical studies showed such injections could decrease episodes of urinary incontinence for a period of nine months.
Botox, which is marketed by the California-based Allergan, is also approved for treatment of chronic migraines, severe underarm sweating, eyelid twitching and certain kinds of muscle stiffness, the FDA said.
The drug is made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In other forms it can cause a deadly type of food poisoning called botulism, according to the National Institutes of Health.