Electromotive drug administration of lidocaine to anesthetize the bladder before intravesical capsaicin

J Urol. 1998 Jun;159(6):1857-61. doi: 10.1016/S0022-5347(01)63176-8.


Purpose: The discomfort caused by intravesical capsaicin during instillation may restrict its use in some patients. We studied the effectiveness of using electromotive drug administration (EMDA) of lidocaine to anesthetize the bladder before capsaicin.

Materials and methods: EMDA of lidocaine and epinephrine was performed in 8 patients with detrusor hyperreflexia using catheters, electrodes and an electrical current generator (20 mA., 15 minutes) followed immediately by intravesical capsaicin (2 mmol./l.) for 30 minutes under urodynamic monitoring. The patients scored suprapubic pain at 5 minutes and at the end of the capsaicin instillations on a scale of 0 to 10. Of the 8 patients 5 had had previous capsaicin treatments and the scores were compared to previous scores when intravesical lidocaine without EMDA had been used as local anesthesia before capsaicin.

Results: The pain scores during capsaicin instillations after EMDA of lidocaine were much lower than those during capsaicin instillations after lidocaine alone. EMDA virtually eliminated the hyperreflexic contractions of the bladder occurring during capsaicin instillations, thus reducing the risk of urethral leakage, and prevented autonomic dysreflexia that had previously occurred in 1 patient.

Conclusions: EMDA of lidocaine is an effective means of reducing pain during subsequent intravesical capsaicin, which makes the use of capsaicin in the treatment of detrusor hyperreflexia more acceptable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravesical
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Capsaicin / administration & dosage*
  • Capsaicin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iontophoresis / methods*
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reflex, Abnormal / drug effects*
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Urodynamics


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Lidocaine
  • Capsaicin