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Repeat Botox treatments appear OK for urinary incontinence in MS patients(07/10/13)

Long-term treatment with serial onabotulinum toxin A (Botox) of urinary incontinence among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients appeared to be safe and effective, researchers reported here.

Daily urinary incontinence episodes due to neurogenic detrusor overactivity dropped dramatically with the 200-unit dose of onabotulinum toxin A from 4.8 episodes a day to an average of about one a day, said Jalesh Panicker, MBBS, MD, from the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, and colleagues.

That reduction was consistent up to five cycles of treatment, he added during a presentation at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) annual meeting.

Panicker said that while a higher dose (300 units) of onabotulinum A showed virtually the same results, the 200-unit dose had a better adverse event profile and is approved as the clinical dose.

He said that the higher onabotulinum toxin A showed no additional clinically meaningful benefits, and was associated with more urinary retention and uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

"This is the first, large, multicenter, prospective long-term trial to demonstrate consistent efficacy and tolerability of repeat onabotulinum toxin A treatment in MS patients," the group wrote.

The current research was based on a 3-year, open-label extension study of a phase III trial of onabotulinum toxin A treatment in MS patients with urinary incontinence due to neurogenic detrusor overactivity. The treatment involved up to 30 injections of onabotulinum toxin A into the wall of the bladder, with special attention to avoiding the trigone, he said.

The research team assigned 119 patients to treatment with 200 units of onabotulinum toxin A and 111 patients to the 300-unit dose.

The average age of the study population was 50 and women made up more than three-fourths of patients. They had been diagnosed with neurogenic detrusor overactivity and about half of the participants had previously been treated with anticholinergic drugs. At baseline, 45 of the patients in the 200-unit dose group were using catheters as were 32 in the higher dose group.

Also at baseline, there was an average of 4.8 urinary incontinence episodes per day in the 200-unit group and 4.6 in the 300-unit group.

At week 6, mean reduction in episodes per day ranged from about 3.6 to 4.3 for the 200-unit group and about 3.8 to 4.7 per day for the 300-unit group across treatment cycles one to five, resulting in an average of only one episode per day (range 0.3-1.1), the group reported.

Annualized MS exacerbation rates ranged from 0.06-0.22 across both dose groups for all cycles.

The most common major adverse event following treatment was urinary retention. Panicker said that 29.6% of the patients who had not required catheterization prior to treatment with the 200-unit dose initiated catheter use after the first cycle of treatment. If patients tolerated treatment in the first cycle, the catheterization requirement was greatly reduced in the second (4.3% of patients) and third cycles (6.1%).

The need for initial catheterization due to urinary retention was greater in the 300-unit group, with 44.9% requiring initial catheterization to relieve fluid retention. That dropped to 17.1% after the second treatment cycle and to 4.8 % after the third cycle.

The need for catheterization in both groups was "worrisome," said Vesna Brinar, MD, PhD, from University of Zagreb in Croatia.

"I would be very careful in offering this treatment to my patients," Brinar told MedPage Today. "I am concerned about the high rate of urinary retention that was seen in both doses of onabotulinum A treatment."

"[Catheterization] is very uncomfortable and inconvenient for patients," added Brinar, who moderated the ECTRIMS session where the results were presented. "I think this treatment might be offered to a very carefully selected patient population."

Panicker said about 64% of the original cohort were still on treatment at the time of his presentation. While 79 patients dropped out of the study, just 10 of them quit because of adverse events or lack of efficacy. "During the extension phase of this study, no new safety signals were observed with repeat onabotulinum toxin A treatment," he added.

The trial was sponsored by Allergan.

Panicker disclosed commercial relationships with Allergan, Astellas, AstraTech, and FirstKind. Co-authors also disclosed commercial relationships AMS, Astellas, Hollister, Medtronic, Watson, Coloplast, Contura, NovaBay, Wellspect and Sigma Tau. Other co-authors are employees of Allergan.

Brinar reported no conflicts of interest.

Primary source: European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis

Source reference: Panicker J, et al "Consistent long-term efficacy of onabotulinumtoxinA in patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity due to multiple sclerosis: an interim analysis after five treatment cycles" ECTRIMS 2013; Abstract 168.

Source: MedPage Today © 2013 MedPage Today, LLC (07/10/13)

Botox® authorised in UK for urinary leakage in MS, spinal cord injury(01/10/12)

Botox(R) has been licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the management of urinary incontinence in adult patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO) due to subcervical spinal cord injury (SCI) (traumatic or non-traumatic) or multiple sclerosis (MS), who are not adequately managed with anticholinergics.

The marketing authorisation is specific for Allergan's botulinum toxin type A product and is a key milestone in bringing this innovative treatment to people living with MS or SCI who have urinary leakage, providing them with a long-term solution for bladder control. Indeed, recently published NICE Guidelines recommend the use of botulinum toxin type A to treat patients with MS or SCI who have symptoms of an overactive bladder and in whom oral treatments have been ineffective or poorly tolerated.

Approximately 140,000 people in the UK are living with MS or SCI. Between 75-80% of people with MS and 60-80% of people with SCI will suffer from some degree of bladder dysfunction including urinary leakage which can be extremely distressing. Urinary leakage in patients with MS or SCI is frequently caused by a condition called neurogenic detrusor overactivity, which results in involuntary contractions of the bladder during the filling stage when the bladder should be relaxed. This overactivity can lead to urinary incontinence (uncontrolled urinary leakage). Current treatment options include oral medications that need to be taken daily.

However, less than 30% of patients manage to stay on oral medication for longer than a period of 12 months. If oral medications fail to control the leakage, then patients may require surgical intervention. Targeted injections with Allergan's botulinum toxin type A product into the bladder muscle have been shown to reduce the involuntary contractions and increase bladder capacity. In turn, this reduces the number of urinary leakage episodes and may even stop leakage altogether in some patients.

"Historically, the management of urinary incontinence due to NDO has relied on daily medications. However, many patients find that daily medications are difficult to adhere to and sometimes these medications have limited effect," said Professor Christopher Chapple, Urology Department, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield NHS Trust and a key investigator in the neurogenic detrusor overactivity registration trials. "Now, Botox(R) injections, given every 8-10 months into the bladder means that I have a new and potentially life changing treatment solution to help my patients get this distressing condition under control. Being able to better control and manage bladder function can be life-changing for patients."

Many people living with MS and SCI face long-term mobility issues, yet remain professionally and socially active. Urinary leakage can be a disabling and socially isolating condition. The condition is associated with significant quality of life and emotional well-being implications such as embarrassment, low self-esteem, depression and loss of independence. Other health implications of urinary incontinence include skin irritation and ulcers, kidney failure and recurrent urinary tract infections, which may lead to serious health consequences if the overactivity of the detrusor muscle is not treated.

Many people who have neurological diseases and are suffering from urinary incontinence remain undiagnosed and untreated. Amy Bowen, Director of Service Development at the MS Trust, explained, "For many people with MS, urinary leakage is frequently seen as a taboo subject with patients often reluctant or too embarrassed to talk about the symptoms to anyone. As a result, many people with MS can feel distressed, socially isolated and that they lack of control over their condition. It is a really positive development that there is now an additional, effective treatment option to help manage this difficult problem. Hopefully, more people with MS who are struggling with urinary leakage will feel confident to discuss these symptoms with their MS specialists and find the treatment option that is right for them."

Alex Rankin, Director of Services for ASPIRE also welcomed the announcement "Many people who have been paralysed by spinal cord injury have to learn new techniques to manage their bladder. Botox(R) injections could now help a person with Spinal Cord Injury have better control over when and where they empty their bladder. This independence will lead to a greatly improved quality of life."

DIGNITY: The largest clinical trial program in neurogenic detrusor overactivity

The DIGNITY programme was Allergan's phase III clinical program evaluating the safety and efficacy of Botox(R) as a treatment in patients suffering from urinary incontinence due to neurogenic detrusor overactivity. The program consisted of two pivotal trials involving nearly 700 patients with either spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis who were not adequately managed with at least one anticholinergic therapy. Eligible patients needed to be willing to perform clean intermittent catheterisation (CIC) to remove urine from the body, if required.

Patients were randomized to receive a physician-administered single treatment of placebo, or 200 or 300 Units of Botox(R) injected as one procedure into the detrusor muscle using a rigid or flexible cystoscope. Treatment was shown to be effective within 2 weeks and lasted for approximately 42 weeks (or 9 months).

The results from the DIGNITY program showed there was a highly statistically significant and clinically relevant reduction in frequency of the most bothersome symptom, urinary incontinence (leakage), reported in Botox(R) treated patients compared to placebo.

- 76% of patients treated with Allergan's botulinum toxin type A product had a statistically significant reduction in urinary wetting episodes (defined as greater than or equal to 50% reduction) by week 6.

- Patients treated with 200 Units of Allergan's botulinum toxin type A product experienced a statistically significant reduction in the number of wetting episodes from 32.4 episodes/week at baseline to only 12.4 episodes during week 6 (a reduction of 21.3 episodes). In contrast, patients treated with placebo had an average of 31.5 episodes/week at baseline which was reduced to 21.0 episodes during week 6 (a reduction of only 10.5 episodes) (p<0.001)

- Nearly 40% of patients treated with 200 Units of Allergan's botulinum toxin type A product were completely dry during week 6 compared to just 9% of patients treated with placebo

- Patients treated with Allergan's botulinum toxin type A product experienced statistically significant improvements in quality of life including less avoidance behaviour, less psychosocial impact and less embarrassment compared to those on the placebo treatment arm

"Allergan is pleased that Botox(R) has received the marketing authorisation in the UK for the treatment of urinary incontinence in people living with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury," said Douglas Ingram, President of Allergan in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. "For people with spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis, gaining effective control over their bladder and staying dry can be a significant step towards improving overall quality of life."

Like all medicines, Allergan's botulinum toxin type A product can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. In general, side effects occur within the first few days following injection. They usually last only for a short time, but they may last for several months and in rare cases, longer. Overall, Allergan's botulinum toxin type A product treatment was generally well-tolerated in the majority of patients in the phase III clinical trial program.

The most common adverse reactions were mainly associated with the urinary tract and included urinary tract infections and the inability to empty the bladder (urinary retention) in patients who were not using a catheter to remove urine. Other side effects included difficulty in sleeping (insomnia), tiredness, constipation, muscle weakness or spasm, blood in the urine after the injection, bulge in the bladder wall (bladder diverticulum), problems with walking (gait disturbance), possible uncontrolled reflex reaction of the body (e.g. profuse sweating, throbbing headache or increase in pulse rate) around the time of the injection (autonomic dysreflexia) or falls.

Source:Science 2.0 © 2012 ION Publications LLC (01/10/12)

Botox reduces tremors in MS patients(02/07/12)

The anti-wrinkle treatment Botox has shown promising results as a treatment for multiple sclerosis patients suffering from tremors.

Treatment with little more Botox than that used for wrinkles significantly reduced patients' upper limb shaking, The Royal Melbourne Hospital study found.

Botox, a toxin derived from the Clostridium botulinum germ, is a muscle-relaxing medication used by the cosmetics industry to smooth wrinkles but it also has a number of medical benefits.

It has already proven effective for muscle stiffness experienced by multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and is also available as a treatment for stroke and cerebral palsy sufferers.

Neurologist Dr Anneke Van Der Walt and her colleagues, including Dr Andrew Evans, tested Botox in 23 MS patients, with all the patients experiencing a reduction of about 40 per cent in the severity of their shaking.

Writing and drawing abilities improved by about 30 per cent in most patients, Dr Van Der Walt said.

Overall, patients experienced improvements across a range of everyday activities, she said.

'Even though it is a small study the results are very significant,' Dr Van Der Walt said.

'We feel that this gives us a platform now to test this in more patients.

'Hopefully this will translate into a very significant treatment for patients with MS who have this shaking of the upper limbs,' she told reporters.

Dr Van Der Walt said Botox could be injected every three to four months but the study found most patients only required it every six months.

'Every person and their tremor is different and doses, and timing of the doses, need to be individualised,' she said.

About two-thirds of MS patients suffer upper limb tremors.

The main side effect of the Botox treatment is muscle weakness, which often dissipates after one to two weeks, Dr Van Der Walt said.

Dr Evans said other conditions had been treated with Botox for 20 years and there were no long-term concerns about its side effects or toxicity.

A patient in the trial, 62-year-old Anca Chernok, said the tremors she experienced forced her to stop working 12 years ago.

She said the Botox treatments in her arms allowed her to care for herself.

'To be self sufficient, to look after myself ...was a great gift,' she said.

'I felt human again.'

Another patient, Andrew White, 55, said the treatments had allowed him to continue working as a human relations manager and to help around the house.

'My wife is delighted that I don't smash dishes anymore when I'm putting them in the dishwasher,' he joked.

Both patients have continued receiving the injections outside of the trial.

The treatment will be trialled among a larger number of patients next year.

The study was published in the American Academy of Neurology journal, Neurology.

Source: Sky News Australia Copyright Australian News Channel Pty Ltd (02/07/12)