TUESDAY, May 23, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Botox injections into the prostate eased symptoms and improved quality of life for men with enlarged prostate, according to a new study.
"Our results are encouraging because they indicate that Botox could represent a simple, safe and effective treatment for enlarged prostate," researcher Dr. Michael B. Chancellor, a professor of urology and gynecology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said in a prepared statement.
His team of U.S. and Taiwanese researchers presented their findings Tuesday at the American Urological Association annual meeting, in Atlanta.
The research was funded by the drug company Allergan, which makes Botox.
The study included 41 men, aged 49 to 79, with enlarged prostate, formally called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). All of the patients had BPH that did not respond to standard medical treatment.
After receiving Botox injections directly into their prostate, 31 patients (75.6 percent) experienced a 30 percent improvement in urinary tract symptoms and quality of life, the researchers said, and in some patients these improvements lasted for up to a year after the injection.
The study also said that 80 percent of patients were able to completely empty their bladders within a week to one month after they received the injection. This was because the Botox caused the prostate gland to relax, which reduced pressure on the urethra, the researchers said.
The patients did not experience any significant side effects.
"Millions of men in the United States suffer from enlarged prostate," Chancellor said. "It's a challenging disease to live with because it causes frequent and difficult urination. Unfortunately, common treatments also are problematic because they carry some risk of serious side effects, such as impotence." Chancellor said he is hopeful that Botox might prove to be a good alternative to those treatments.
For more on enlarged prostate, head to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.