Objective To control the symptoms of interstitial cystitis with chronic self-administered intravesical heparin and determine whether the drug's continued use can sustain remission.
Patients and methods A total of 48 patients were selected to undergo intravesical heparin therapy, 10000 units in 10 ml sterile water, three times per week for 3 months. For patients who attained a good clinical remission, therapy was available for up to a further 9 months.
Results At 3 months 27 of 48 patients (56%) attained good clinical remissions. All were offered continuous therapy and 23 elected for an additional 3 months. Twenty of the 23 continued in remission. Sixteen of these patients elected to have a further 6 months of therapy (12 months total) and 15 of 1ft remained in remission.
Conclusion In over half of the patients studied, intravesical heparin controls the symptoms of interstitial cystitis with continued improvement even after one year of therapy.