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Using OnabotulinumtoxinA for Urinary Incontinence

OnabotulinumtoxinA is approved for treating urinary incontinence (lack of bladder control) in people with an overactive bladder due to neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord injury. It is approved only for use in adults, and only for people who have unsuccessfully tried an anticholinergic medication for this condition. Such medications include:

OnabotulinumtoxinA for Overactive Bladder

OnabotulinumtoxinA is also approved for treating an overactive bladder in adults. It is approved for use only in people who have already tried anticholinergic medications for overactive bladder treatment and who found the medications to be ineffective, unsafe, or intolerable. In studies, onabotulinumtoxinA worked for about 24 weeks, on average, which means you should expect to need about two treatments per year, although some people need them more or less frequently.

How Does This Medication Work?

OnabotulinumtoxinA is a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The drug works by decreasing nerve signals that are sent to muscles, which causes the muscles to relax. OnabotulinumtoxinA enters nerve cells and inhibits the release of acetylcholine, a chemical that transmits signals from nerve to nerve. The actions of the drug are not permanent, and the muscle will eventually recover and return to its previous state.
For severe sweating, onabotulinumtoxinA works similarly, blocking the release of acetylcholine from the nerve cells that stimulate the sweat glands.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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