It’s not surprising that women are often the caretaker or healthcare advocate for their loved ones or families. But in this day and age, it is startling that women often do not give the same priority to their own health. One in five women have kept health information from their doctor because they were too embarrassed or too nervous to speak about it, according to a recent survey conducted by Allergan and endorsed by the Women’s Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing education, funding, and research to the field of women’s pelvic health.1 Further, the survey which consisted of more than 1,000 women ages 45+, showed that almost two-thirds of women have never had a discussion with their doctor about their bladder health‹a common, yet typically “embarrassing” topic.
An estimated 39 million Americans have overactive bladder (OAB), and 40 percent of all women in the United States live with OAB symptoms. These women may worry about the location of bathrooms readily available to them throughout the day because they are concerned about the risk of an accident, but many of them don’t talk to their doctors about their bladder health as a recent survey unveils.
Founder & Director of the Women’s Health Foundation, Missy Lavender and Urologist, Dr. Elizabeth Mueller, who has been featured in numerous media outlets, including the The Dr. Oz Show, on the topic of bladder health.
BOTOX® is a prescription medicine that is injected into the bladder muscle and used to treat overactive bladder symptoms such as a strong need to urinate with leaking or wetting accidents (urge urinary incontinence), a strong need to urinate right away (urgency), and urinating often (frequency) in adults 18 years and older when another type of medicine (anticholinergic) does not work well enough or cannot be taken.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
BOTOX® may cause serious side effects that can be life threatening. Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of these problems any time (hours to weeks) after injection of BOTOX®:
– Problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing, due to weakening of associated muscles, can be severe and result in loss of life. You are at the highest risk if these problems are pre-existing before injection. Swallowing problems may last for several months
– Spread of toxin effects. The effect of botulinum toxin may affect areas away from the injection site and cause serious symptoms including: loss of strength and all-over muscle weakness, double vision, blurred vision and drooping eyelids, hoarseness or change or loss of voice (dysphonia), trouble saying words clearly (dysarthria), loss of bladder control, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing. If this happens, do not drive a car, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities
Do not take BOTOX® if you: are allergic to any of the ingredients in BOTOX® (see Medication Guide for ingredients); had an allergic reaction to any other botulinum toxin product such as Myobloc® (rimabotulinumtoxinB), Dysport® (abobotulinumtoxinA), or Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA); have a skin infection at the planned injection site.
Do not take BOTOX® for the treatment of urinary incontinence if you: have a urinary tract infection (UTI) or cannot empty your bladder on your own and are not routinely catheterizing.
Due to the risk of urinary retention (not being able to empty the bladder), only patients who are willing and able to initiate catheterization post-treatment, if required, should be considered for treatment.
In clinical trials, 6.5% of patients (36/552) initiated clean intermittent catheterization for urinary retention following treatment with BOTOX® 100 Units as compared to 0.4% of patients (2/542) treated with placebo. The median duration of catheterization for these patients treated with BOTOX® 100 Units was 63 days (minimum 1 day to maximum 214 days) as compared to a median duration 11 days (minimum 3 days to maximum 18 days) for patients receiving placebo.
Patients with diabetes mellitus treated with BOTOX® were more likely to develop urinary retention than non-diabetics.
The dose of BOTOX® is not the same as, or comparable to, another botulinum toxin product.
Serious and/or immediate allergic reactions have been reported. These reactions include itching, rash, red itchy welts, wheezing, asthma symptoms, or dizziness or feeling faint. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you experience any such symptoms; further injection of BOTOX® should be discontinued.
Tell your doctor about all your muscle or nerve conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), myasthenia gravis, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome, as you may be at increased risk of serious side effects including severe dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and respiratory compromise (difficulty breathing) from typical doses of BOTOX®.
Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you: have or have had bleeding problems; have plans to have surgery; had surgery on your face; weakness of forehead muscles, such as trouble raising your eyebrows; drooping eyelids; any other abnormal facial change; have symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) and are being treated for urinary incontinence. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection may include pain or burning with urination, frequent urination, or fever; have problems emptying your bladder on your own and are being treated for urinary incontinence; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant (it is not known if BOTOX® can harm your unborn baby); are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed (it is not known if BOTOX® passes into breast milk).
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Using BOTOX® with certain other medicines may cause serious side effects. Do not start any new medicines until you have told your doctor that you have received BOTOX® in the past.
Especially tell your doctor if you: have received any other botulinum toxin product in the last 4 months; have received injections of botulinum toxin such as Myobloc®, Dysport®, or Xeomin® in the past (be sure your doctor knows exactly which product you received); have recently received an antibiotic by injection; take muscle relaxants; take an allergy or cold medicine; take a sleep medicine; take anti-platelets (aspirin-like products) or anti-coagulants (blood thinners).
Other side effects of BOTOX® include: dry mouth, discomfort or pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, neck pain, and eye problems: double vision, blurred vision, decreased eyesight, drooping eyelids, swelling of your eyelids, and dry eyes. In people being treated for urinary incontinence other side effects include: urinary tract infection, painful urination, and/or inability to empty your bladder on your own. If you have difficulty fully emptying your bladder after receiving BOTOX®, you may need to use disposable self-catheters to empty your bladder up to a few times each day until your bladder is able to start emptying again.
For more information refer to the Medication Guide or talk with your doctor.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.