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Alkalinized Lidocaine and Heparin Provide Immediate Relief of Pain and Urgency in Patients with Interstitial Cystitis


  • During the completion of this work, Amie Franklin's affiliation changed to CCS Associates, Inc., Mountain View, CA, USA. William Garner's affiliation is now EBG Advisors, LLC, San Francisco, CA, USA.

C. Lowell Parsons, MD, Division of Urology, University of California San Diego, 200 W. Arbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92103, USA. Tel: (619) 543-3731; Fax: (619) 543-6573; E-mail:


Introduction.  It has been reported in an open-label study that the combination of alkalinized lidocaine and heparin can immediately relieve the symptoms of urinary urgency, frequency, and pain associated with interstitial cystitis (IC). This combination has also been reported to relieve pain associated with sex in patients with IC.

Aim.  The aim of this study was to corroborate these findings in a multicenter setting.

Methods.  The study design was a multicenter prospective, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled trial. Each participant met all of the clinical National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases criteria (excluding cystoscopy) for IC. Each patient received drug and control, in random order, within 48 hours of enrolling in the study.

Main Outcome Measures.  The primary outcome measure was percent change in pain score (11-point analog pain scale) 12 hours after receiving the drug or control. Secondary measures were the global assessment response (GAR) of symptoms and 12-hour average urgency reduction determined from 11-point urgency scales.

Results.  Eighteen (18) patients completed the trial. The average reduction of pain over 12 hours was 21% for control and 42% for active drug (P = 0.0363). GAR was 13% for control and 50% for drug (P = 0.0137). Average urgency reduction was 13% for control and 35% for drug (P = 0.0328).

Conclusions.  The combination of alkalinized lidocaine and heparin provides up to 12 hours of relief from urgency and pain associated with IC. This combination provides significant immediate relief of symptoms for patients with IC. Parsons CL, Zupkas P, Proctor J, Koziol J, Franklin A, Giesing D, Davis E, Lakin CM, Kahn BS, and Garner WJ. Alkalinized lidocaine and heparin provide immediate relief of pain and urgency in patients with interstitial cystitis. J Sex Med 2012;9:207–212.