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Botulinum Toxin Type A May Be an Alternative IC Treatment, When Other Treatments Fail

Akiyama Y, Nomiya A, Niimi A, Yamada Y, Fujimura T, Nakagawa T, Fukuhara H, Kume H, Igawa Y, Homma Y. Botulinum toxin type A injection for refractory interstitial cystitis: A randomized comparative study and predictors of treatment response. Int J Urol. 2015 Jun 2. doi: 10.1111/iju.12833. [Epub ahead of print]

The evidence continues to mount that botulinum toxin type A may be useful in the treatment of interstitial cystitis (IC). In one of the latest studies, researchers in Tokyo, Japan evaluated the effects of botulinum toxin injection in 34 patients with IC that did not respond to standard treatments. About half of the patients received the injection immediately, while others received an injection at a later (delayed) time point. Clinical responses were evaluated 1 month after the start of the study. Among the patients who received immediate injections, the response rate was about 72%; by comparison, only 25% of the delayed injection group had a response. Moreover, the patients who got immediate injections had better scores on all symptom measures versus the delayed injection group. For all patients in the study, the average duration of response was 5.4 months. These findings suggest that injections of botulinum toxin could be an alternative treatment option for patients with IC that don’t respond to standard therapy. In particular, the treatment seemed to work well in patients who previously underwent hydrodistension treatment.