Treatment of painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis with botulinum toxin A: why isn’t it effective in all patients?
Botulinum toxin A (BTA) is currently used to treat a variety of painful disorders, including painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis (PBS/IC). However, BTA is not consistently effective in all patients. This may be due to the disparity of causes of pain, but this may also relate to the processes by which BTA exerts anti-nociceptive effects. This review discusses mechanisms by which BTA may inhibit pain and studies of the use of BTA in PSB/IC patients. It is doubtful that any single treatment will effectively control pain in PBS/IC patients, and it is highly probable that multiple strategies will be required, both within individual patients and across the population of PBS/IC patients. The purpose of this review is to discuss those mechanisms by which BTA acts, with the intent that alternative strategies exploiting these mechanism, or work through alternative pathways, can be identified to more effectively treat pain in PBS/IC patients in the future.