Botox, the so-called wrinkle eraser, may find a new way to help men, exclusively. Doctors are now testing the toxin to relieve the symptoms of an enlarged prostate in men, a problem which causes problems with urination.
Now, a small study of 11 men found Botox helped shrink the prostate gland and significantly improved symptoms within a week after the injection. There were no side effects among the group and the effects lasted for about six months.
The University of Pittsburgh researchers have been using Botox to relax overactive bladders for several years and say it looks like the treatment will have the same success for enlarged prostates.
They say it could turn out to be an alternative to surgery for men who want relief but are worried about the surgery side effects like erectile dysfunction. Botox is not approved to treat prostate problems and is not covered by insurance.
The researchers are gathering data to present to the FDA.
An enlarged prostate is one of the most common diseases affecting men. More than half of all men over the age of 60, and 80% by age 80, will have enlarged prostates (American Urological Association). The study was conducted at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan and is being presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in San Francisco.