Findings reported at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Association of Urology showed that filling the bladder with lidocaine, a local anesthetic, can improve symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis.
Study co-author Dr. J. Curtis Nickel said:
“While local anesthetics have long been used to treat interstitial cystitis, available treatments provide only marginal improvement and may sometimes actually worsen symptoms. There is an unmet need for a…treatment that immediately relieves symptoms and operates directly to (reduce) the bladder sensory nerves without any rebound effect.”
Over 100 adults were given daily bladder injections using lidocaine or a placebo for 5 days. After a 10-day follow-up period, the participants were informed of their assigned treatment and given the option of continuing therapy for an additional 5 days.
The patients selected for the study and treatment had symptoms for at least 3 months and their pain had to be at least a 4 out of 10 on the pain scale. A urinary catheter was used to fill the bladder with lidocaine or placebo, which was left in the bladder for 1 hour by placing a clamp over the catheter.
Three days after treatment stopped, 30 percent of lidocaine-treated patients reported a moderate or marked improvement in their bladder symptoms compared with just 10 percent of those given placebo. One week later, however, the difference was less pronounced with corresponding percentages of 24 percent and 12 percent.
Most patients then elected to receive a second course of treatment. Among the patients who received two course of lidocaine, 63 percent reported moderate or marked improvement at day 22, and 56 percent did so at day 29.
Nickels believes that because more improvement was shown after the second treatments, multiple treatments will likely be necessary for patients.
The treatment was reported to be safe and without any of the side effects noted with oral drugs.