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Botulinum Toxin Effective for IC/BPS Treatment, Meta-Analysis Shows

Shim SR, Cho YJ, Shin IS, Kim JH. Efficacy and safety of botulinum toxin injection for interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int Urol Nephrol. 2016 Apr 30. [Epub ahead of print]

Although botulinum toxin is not formally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug administration for treatment of patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS), there are numerous individual studies suggesting botulinum toxin type A (BoNTA) injections may be effective in this setting. By combining those studies in a larger meta-analysis, researchers can potentially draw better conclusions about the usefulness of the treatment. Toward that end, the authors of this article reviewed the medical literature for key studies of botulinum toxin use in IC/BPS and performed a meta-analysis of the results they found. A total of 5 studies including 252 patients were included; about half of the patients had received botulinum toxin, while the remainder were part of the control groups of the individual studies. The results were favorable for botulinum toxin, including a substantial reduction in pain reported by subjects who received it. Botulinum toxin-treated patients also had superior improvements in urinary frequency and in their scores on the Interstitial Cystitis Problem Index (ICPI). Furthermore, they found there was no increase in the rate of adverse events related to procedures for the botulinum toxin-treated group. Researchers said this is the first evidence-based systematic review and meta-analysis of botulinum toxin treatment of IC/BPS.