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BOTOX approved for treatment of Overactive Bladder

BOTOX approved for treatment of Overactive Bladder

BOTOX® (botulinum toxin type A) injections registered for management of overactive bladder - Twice yearly treatment allows New Zealanders with bladder dysfunction to gain control1

Auckland / Wellington, New Zealand – A twice yearly treatment option, BOTOX® (botulinum toxin type A),1 is now available for more than 500,000 New Zealanders experiencing overactive bladder (OAB) - a chronic and debilitating condition,2,3 that at its worst can affect social lives, make people feel secluded and cause psychological stress.2

The New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe) has registered BOTOX®(botulinum toxin type A), for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB) with symptoms of urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency, in adult patients who have an inadequate response to, or are intolerant of, an anticholinergic medication.1 This makes BOTOX® the first treatment option to help patients gain control of their bladder, with the effect lasting up to six months before re-treatment is required.1

The treatment of OAB with BOTOX® involves injecting 100U of BOTOX® into the detrusor muscle. This helps to relax and calm the bladder muscle, which minimises sudden contraction and reduces leakage episodes9commonly experienced with people suffering from OAB.1 It also targets the nerves that control the sensation of urgency,9 a common and bothersome symptom of OAB.4

This is not just a condition that strikes the elderly, OAB is also relatively common in young people - predominantly women - many of whom are unaware the condition can be treated.4 While the prevalence of OAB is a common condition affecting up to 17 per cent of the general population2,9, the prevalence of urinary incontinence is even higher in adult Maori women at approximately 50 per cent.5 For Maori women in particular, there are many factors including their social, cultural and economic conditions that influence their health and wellbeing including seeking and accessing affordable and appropriate health care.

According to Dr. Sharon English, Consultant Urologist, “Only a small proportion of people with overactive bladder seek health professional assistance. Many women I see are very embarrassed to even talk to a medical professional. People experiencing involuntary leakage of urine, a need to empty the bladder more than eight times a day and frequently experiencing an urgent ‘need to go’, regardless of actual need6 should ask their GPs to refer them to an urologist to discuss how best to treat their condition and explore treatment options.”

Oral anticholinergics are prescribed as first-line treatment for OAB, however approximately 50 per cent of patients do not persist with their oral treatment after the first prescription, over 70 per cent of patients stop taking anticholinergics within one year7 due to inadequate response or intolerance for these medications.3,7,8

Dr English adds: “Overactive bladder can be a difficult condition to treat with limited options for patients who have not had success with oral treatments. With the availability of a new treatment people with this potentially incapacitating condition now have another treatment option to consider in their quest for regaining a ‘normal’ life.”

Support and information is available from the New Zealand Continence Association please or call the Continence Help Line on 0800 650 659
For consumer medicine information about this treatment please see Further information about BOTOX® can also be found on


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