Pacaine – A homeopathic treatment for arthritis (An Irish discovery).


Patients with arthritis have been treated with procaine solution since the 1950’s. A Dublin doctor, Dr. Patrick A. Collins, who found that it could alleviate the symptoms of many forms of arthritis, developed the treatment. Today, an increasing number of GP’s around Ireland and abroad use the same treatment. The Lucan practice, run by Dr. Maurice Collins, continues as a specialist centre for this treatment and associated research.

What is it?

A very dilute solution of procaine in saline. Procaine was used in the past as a local anaesthetic, though its effect on arthritis symptoms has nothing to do with its anaesthetic properties.

What is the treatment called?

In order to distinguish the procaine treatment developed by Dr. Patrick A. Collins from other forms of procaine treatment, this treatment is now called ‘PACAINE’ (the initials P A C are taken from his name).

Who can be treated?

Patients with different types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile chronic arthritis and arthritis associated with SLE. Other conditions such as fibromyalgia may also be treated successfully.

How is the treatment given?

The method of treatment is unusual. Using a glass rod, a measured amount of the solution is applied to the skin of the upper arm (no needles are required). The solution is just allowed to dry for a few minutes.

How often is the treatment needed?

The treatment is repeated every 4 weeks initially. Later, when the arthritis symptoms have responded, the time interval between treatments may be longer than 4 weeks (eg. 8 weeks, 3 months, etc.).

What kind of response is expected from the treatment?

Following a treatment it is not unusual for the patient’s symptoms to get worse temporarily (this is what we call a flare). Normally this will only last a few days and improvement follows. However, if the starting dose is too big the flare may last longer. Benefit may also occur in some patients without any initial worsening, but if the starting dose is too small the benefit will be short-lived.

Patients may also notice an increase in energy levels and general wellbeing after treatment with Pacaine.

Eventually, a general level of improvement in pain and stiffness is maintained and flares, if they do occur, are mild.

How long does it take to get a response to Pacaine?

The speed of response to treatment will vary from patient to patient and while some may improve quite quickly, for most patients it tends to be a slow gradual improvement with some ups and downs on the way.

Approximately 70% of patients will respond to treatment. If no reaction shows after 3 treatments, treatment is stopped. To stop after 1 treatment is a waste of time. The initial reaction may be quite slight and the patient may be expecting much more and hence not notice the slight change.

How Long do patients stay on treatment?

Every patient is different. Pacaine treatment is continued where troublesome symptoms occur. While in the early stages this is every 4 weeks, usually this interval extends to 8 weeks, 3 months or even 6 months in time. It is not possible to predict the speed this will happen.

How does Pacaine work?

It is thought that the treatment in some way stimulates a reaction in the immune system which can then influence the joints affected by arthritis and thereby alleviate symptoms.

Does the treatment have side-effects?

There are no known side-effects to this treatment.

Does the treatment interact or interfere with other medication?


It is important that other medications are not changed at all when treatment with Pacaine has started , otherwise it may not be possible to tell whether a change in symptoms is due to Pacaine or the alteration of other standard medication.

In time, it may be possible to reduce the need for painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Where is Pacaine treatment available?

Dr. John Dunphy,

Cork Road Medical Clinic, Carrigaline, Co. Cork.

Tel: 021 4371177

I.M.C. 04257


Dr. Maurice Collins,

Crescent View, Spa Hotel Grounds, Lucan, Dublin

Tel: 01 6280240

Irish doctor’s arthritis treatment gaining acceptance

(by Ed Moloney, Sunday Tribune)

Arthritis victims can enjoy as much as a 50% annual reduction in pain as a result of regularly taking the Irish-based Collins Arthritis Treatment, according to an independent statistical study prepared for last week’s international GP’s conference, the World Organisation of National Colleges and Academies (WONCA) held in Dublin.

The study, the first attempt at a systemic examination of a treatment which has been available in Ireland for nearly forty years, shows that people suffering from osteo-arthritis who take the treatment on a monthly basis have on average a 54% reduction in pain in the first year. Osteo-arthritis is the most common form of the disease with an estimated 200,000 victims in Ireland.

For victims of rheumatoid arthritis, the most crippling variety of the disease, the average annual improvement is less, but at 30% in the first year still represents a significant reduction in pain. Rheumatoid arthritis affects women up to four times as much as men and usually strikes in early middle age.

The study, which was based on data collected from 16 GP’s administering the treatment in Ireland over a twelve month period, was conducted by Dr Marie Reilly, the Director of the Consulting Centre at the Department of Statistics, UCD.

“Although this was an observational study rather than experimental the results were very encouraging”, she said last week. “I think it gives a huge impetus to the demand for a clinical trial”. She added that a longer study would be necessary to determine whether the annual improvement rates continued or levelled off.

The study was based on the experiences of 460 patients between May 1997 and May 1998 and used recognised subjective methods of pain measurement and evaluation by both patients and physicians. Between them, the patients made 1,567 visits for treatment, and the study shows that their doctors estimated there had been improvements in 79.1% of the visits for osteo-arthritis patients and 64.1% for those with rheumatoid arthritis.

In the case of rheumatoid arthritis victims inflammatory changes in the blood were also measured and these appeared to show an average 25% annual reduction in the first year of treatment.

The Collins Treatment was developed by a Lucan-based doctor, Patrick Collins in the 1950’s and was carried on by his three sons, all doctors, after his death. The surviving son Maurice Collins has for the last few years been attempting to get clinical trials for the treatment. The former Tánaiste Dick Spring has given his support to the calls.

The treatment is based on the local anaesthetic drug, Procaine which was once widely used by dentists. The Procaine is diluted and a small amount is smeared on the skin, the size of the dose being determined by the variety of arthritis.

How the treatment works remains a medical mystery but its popularity has spread; some 35 GP’s in Ireland and Britain now administer the treatment. A major advantage of the treatment over conventional medicine is that it has no known side effects and apparently is effective for the entire family of arthritis diseases.

In a story that comes out of Hidden Ireland thousands of people have taken the treatment over the years but it never, until recently, had any public profile. One major reason for this was the unremitting hostility of the rheumatolgy establishment although there is evidence that this may now be softening.