What is DMSO?
Dimethyl sulfoxide is a solution that may help in some patients with Painful Bladder Syndrome. It is put into the bladder on a number of separate occasions over a few weeks, and may help with symptoms. It is not a cure, and may not help in all patients.
How is DMSO given?
DMSO is used in adults only. A small catheter is passed into the bladder, and the bladder is drained of urine. A small volume (50 mL) of a 50% DMSO solution is instilled into the bladder via the catheter. The catheter is then removed, and the solution remains in the bladder for fifteen minutes, or up to 40 minutes if the patient can tolerate for that length of time. The patient then passes urine in the toilet and can go home.
The treatment is repeated every week for 6 weeks. Medical review will then be undertaken to assess effect. The treatment can be repeated if needed.
Some patients may have bladder discomfort while undergoing treatment. If you cannot tolerate the treatment, let your doctor know.
Potential side effects and complications
All procedures have the potential for side effects. Although these complications are well recognised, the majority of patients do not have problems after the procedure.
- You may not be able to hold the solution for the full length of time.
- You may have stinging and burning in your urine for a short time afterwards.
- A garlic-like smell or taste is common.
- Blood in the urine.
- Urinary tract infection.
- Temporary inability to pass urine.
Extremely rare: If any of the following rare side effects occur contact your doctor or emergency department immediately.
- Shortness of breath or troubled breathing
- Skin rash, hives, or itching
- Swelling of face
If you develop a fever, severe pain on passing urine, inability to pass urine or worsening bleeding, you should contact the practice immediately. If out of hours, please go to your nearest emergency department.
This information is intended as an educational guide only, and is here to help you as an additional source of information, along with a consultation from your urologist. The information does not apply to all patients.
Not all potential complications are listed, and you must talk to your urologist about the complications specific to your situation.