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Bladder and Pelvic Pain

DMSO (Dimethyl Sulphoxide)


What is it used to treat?
Interstitial Cystitis.

How will it help?
It reduces both bladder inflammation and pain.

What are the usual doses and how is it given?
50ml of 50% solution is placed directly into the bladder via a catheter. The catheter or small tube is passed with the assistance of local anaesthetic lubricating gel up the urethra, (the tube from the bladder). After the DMSO is given the catheter is removed. The DMSO solution is then held in the bladder for 20 minutes before you empty your bladder in the toilet and have a shower as the solution can irritate the skin. Usually one treatment is given every week for 6 weeks. Improvement might not be seen until the third or fourth treatment. Then additional treatments can subsequently be used should symptoms recur. Sometimes DMSO is used as part of a mixture with other medications instilled into the bladder.

How is the treatment arranged?
Usually as an outpatient appointment in the rooms.

What side effects might occur?
A strong garlic taste or odour may be present for 24 hours after each treatment and although many patients may not notice this, others close by might. A temporary flare or worsening of symptoms may occur lasting 24-72 hours. Some patients may experience flu-like symptoms for a short time after treatment including stomach upset, drowsiness and headache. The solution can cause irritation of the skin therefore you need to have a shower following the treatment. If you are incontinent, wash soiled clothing in hot water and wrap any damp pads in plastic bags and discard. The catheterization may cause burning when you first pass urine and even some bleeding. These symptoms usually settle quickly within 24 hours. There is a small risk of urinary tract infection following the catheterization procedure. Any side effects should be reported to this practice or the nurse prior to the administration of your next treatment especially fevers, chills, or persistent or severe blood in the urine. If these symptoms are persistent your next treatments may need to be delayed.

When should it not be used?
If you have recently had a bladder stretch (hydrodistension) or cystoscopy and bladder biopsies you should wait 3-4 weeks for the bladder to heal before starting treatment.
Treatment should not be performed during pregnancy.

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