Allergan Inc. said Wednesday that its drug Botox, popularly known as a wrinkle remover, worked better than a placebo as a treatment for an overactive bladder.
Allergan said the late-stage trials showed that Botox was more effective than a placebo at reducing urinary incontinence. It has filed for approval to market Botox in the U.S. and the European Union for patients who are not being helped by anticholinergic drugs, the medications typically used to treat urinary incontinence.
In August, the Food and Drug Administration approved it as a treatment for urinary incontinence with specific causes such as neurological conditions like spinal injury or multiple sclerosis. Allergan said that most of the time, however, it's not clear what's causing incontinence.
Allergan said around 3.2 million U.S. patients with overactive bladder are taking anticholinergic drugs, but more than half of them eventually stop taking the medications because they don't help enough or because of their side effects. Side effects can include dry mouth, constipation, overheating and flushing, and they can cause memory problems in some older patients.
Botox has long been approved for reducing forehead wrinkles on the forehead, and for treating muscle spasms and eyelid twitching.
Allergan shares dipped 3 cents to $94.28 in afternoon trading.