Interstitial Cystitis or Bladder Pain Syndrome (IC/BPS) is a heterogeneous condition characterized by elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-α, and is associated with debilitating symptoms of pelvic pain and frequent urination. A standard of care for IC/BPS has not been established, and most patients must undergo a series of different treatment options, with potential for severe adverse events. Here, we report a patient with a 26-year history of IC/BPS following treatment with multiple therapies, including low doses of etodolac, amitriptyline and gabapentin, which she was unable to tolerate because of adverse effects, including headaches, blurred vision and cognitive impairment. The patient achieved a complete clinical remission with minimal adverse events after 16 cycles of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) intravenous (IV) infusions over a period of 5 months, and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels were reduced when compared to measurements taken at presentation. Personalized low dose NAC IV infusion therapy represents an effective, safe, anti-inflammatory therapy administered in the outpatient setting for IC/BPS, and warrants further investigation.
Keywords: IL-1β; N-acetylcysteine; TNF-α; anti-inflammatory therapy; bladder pain syndrome; inflammation; interstitial cystitis; personalized medicine; pro-inflammatory cytokines.