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Emerging treatments for overactive bladder: clinical potential of botulinum toxins

Authors Tincello D, Rashid T, Revicky V

Received 17 February 2014

Accepted for publication 14 April 2014

Published 21 May 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 51—57

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RRU.S44665

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Douglas G Tincello,1,2 Tina Rashid,2 Vladimir Revicky2

1Reproductive Sciences Section, Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK; 2Urogynecology Unit, Women's and Children's Clinical Business Unit, University Hospitals of Leicester National Health Service Trust, Leicester, UK

Abstract: Overactive bladder (OAB) is a symptom syndrome including urgency, frequency, and nocturia – with or without incontinence. It is a common manifestation of detrusor overactivity (DO). DO is a urodynamic observation of spontaneous or provoked contractions of the detrusor muscle is seen during the filling phase of the micturition cycle. OAB is, therefore, both a motor and sensory disorder. Botulinum toxin is a purified form of the neurotoxin from Clostridium botulinum and has been used in medicine for many years. Over the last 10 years, it has been used for the treatment of DO and OAB when standard treatments, such as bladder training and oral anticholinergic medication, have failed to provide symptom relief. Botulinum toxin acts by irreversibly preventing neurotransmitter release from the neurons in the motor end plate and also at sensory synapses, although the clinical effect is not permanent due to the growth of new connections within treated tissues. It is known that botulinum toxin modulates vanillioid, purinergic, capsaicin, and muscarinic receptor expression within the lamina propria, returning them to levels seen in normal bladders. Clinically, the effect of botulinum toxin on symptoms of OAB and DO is profound, with large effects upon the symptom of urgency, and also large effects on frequency, nocturia, leakage episodes, and continence rates. These effects have been seen consistently within eight randomized trials and numerous case series. Botulinum toxin appears safe, with the only common side effect being that of voiding difficulty, occurring in up to 10% of treated patients. Dosing regimens are variable, depending on which preparation is used, but it is clear that dose recommendations have fallen over the last 5 years. There is limited evidence about the efficacy of repeat treatments. Botulinum toxin is an effective and safe second-line treatment for patients with OAB and DO.

Keywords: overactive bladder, detrusor overactivity, botulinum toxin, efficacy, side-effects, treatment

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