Urology of Greater Atlanta

Bladder Instillations or Bladder Cocktails

Interstitial cystitis (IC) can bring on chronic pain and unrelenting pressure on your bladder and pelvic area. This form of bladder pain syndrome (BPS) affects anywhere between 4 and 12 million people every year, according to the Interstitial Cystitis Association.

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic disorder that is caused by inflammation in the bladder. When the bladder lining scars or stiffens, it leads to other complications like frequent urination because of limited bladder capacity.

At Urology of Greater Atlanta, in Spivey Station, GA, the team of board-certified urologists is equipped to diagnose and treat this painful condition. IC is often confused with a urinary tract infection so a professional diagnosis is very important. Call us or request an appointment online today for an IC consultation.

As there is no cure for interstitial cystitis, treatment is geared to reduce bladder pain, pelvic pain, and inflammation. Your health care provider can use two approaches to provide symptom relief; oral medications and bladder instillations, also known as bladder cocktails. 

To perform a bladder instillation, your provider will insert a tube called a catheter into your bladder through your urethra and slowly add a liquid that will ease the irritation of the bladder wall. 

Expert urologists will use medications when physical therapy is not enough to reduce interstitial cystitis symptoms. In most cases, a combination of both methods will provide adequate symptom control.

This article will focus on bladder instillations that can be used to treat interstitial cystitis. We also have a specific article that gives more information about various oral medications that can help control IC symptoms. 

Bladder Instillation Treatment

Some bladder instillation treatments that can help control IC symptoms are:

Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO)

DMSO works by relaxing pelvic and bladder muscles and relieving pain and infection. It is the only FDA-approved bladder instillation drug for interstitial cystitis. Possible side effects may include a burning sensation during and after instillation, and your skin and breath could smell a little of garlic for up to three days following treatment. DMSO may be combined with other medications.

Hyaluronic Acid (Cystistat)

Cystistat is a medication that can be used to help repair the bladder lining.

Frequency of Treatment

You would usually have bladder instillation every week or every other week. Treatments will typically continue for six to eight weeks. If bladder baths ease symptoms, then there may be a break between the treatment cycles, but they can also continue indefinitely if necessary.

Effectiveness of Treatment and Further Considerations

Most patients will experience adequate symptom control after six weeks of once-a-week treatments. Follow-up tests are usually done every six months if the treatment is continued long-term.

If you have other underlying bladder issues, you may also need to undergo physical examinations with a camera attached to a lighted scope. The catheter may also increase the chances of urinary tract infections.

Contact Us

The talented team at Urology of Greater Atlanta will be happy to help you with your IC symptoms. Call the practice or book online. At Urology of Greater Atlanta, our team of top-rated urologists has successfully helped women throughout Metro Atlanta with their many treatment options available.

Stockbridge, Country Club Drive

290 Country Club Drive Suite 100, Stockbridge, GA 30281

Blue Ridge, Blue Ridge Drive

4799 Blue Ridge Drive Suite 107, Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Sandy Springs

1100 Lake Hearn Drive NE STE 320
Atlanta, GA 30342

Griffin, West College Street

230 West College Street Bldg. C, Griffin, GA 30224

Spivey Station

7823 Spivey Station Blvd Suite 210, Jonesboro, GA 30236


4143 Hospital Drive NE Covington, GA 30014