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  1. #1
    ICN Member
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    Long-term use of AZO

    I haven't been diagnosed with IC yet, but I've had symptoms and clean urinalyses for a year now. In the meantime, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I'm currently undergoing chemotherapy. Needless to say, that's put the search for a bladder diagnosis on hold. My last chemo treatment is next week, but I figure it'll be at least a month before I have the energy to see a urologist.

    Six months ago I asked my regular doctor about this bladder problem, and he said with the cancer diagnosis, "Just take AZO" until I finish chemo. My concern is that the package says don't take it more than 2 days, but I have 24-hour non-stop daily pain that is so bad I can't sleep. Up until recently, I don't think I've taken it more than 2 days in a row, but I've taken it a lot. And since Thursday, I've taken it every day (so that's 5 days in a row).

    I'm worried because the package insert says it causes cancer in animals. My question to you all is, have any of you taken AZO for longer than 2 days at a time? What do your doctors say about it? Or the prescription version (i.e., pyridium?) I called the pharmacist and he says the prescription version of the drug is exactly the same, only a higher dose. So I'm presuming even that is unsafe to take for more than 2 days.

    Thanks so much for any replies!!

  2. #2
    ICN Member Katrina's Avatar
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    The med of the Azo is given out in prescription form for long term use to many IC patients but liver should be watched so you should get blood work regularly. It is done by many of us and the unsafe....or risk is the same yes, but if your doctor has told you to do so than it is his job to monitor your blood work to make sure it doesn't have a negative effect on you. I am not sure if any one of us has had to stop using pyridium because it damaged us yet, I know the risk exists and I don't take it daily, I suggest you discuss with your doctor how often he feels is safe.


    In the mean time you could try some alternatives for sale in the ICN store or suggested in the alternative forum. You may find something that helps you feel good like chamomile tea there.

    Very sorry you have to deal with so much at once.
    Faith, Hope, and Love,
    Katrina


    I believe God is using me. He uses me for God. Things I gain from all my suffering are meant to help others. I hope I can help you too. Email me or start a chat if you like my help or anything. I CARE!Illnesses: IC,IBS, IBD, GERD, PFD, Epilepsy, Endo, Allergies, RLM,Rapid heart beat, low blood pressure,Gastritis,Gall stones,Tendonitis,migraines, Shingles, Prolapsed pouch,ext. fatigue (current problem) I have seen periods of remission and I have seen them end and return. At this time remission is over and working on getting it back! My hope story http://www.ic-network.com/patientstories/katrina.html
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  3. #3
    ICN Member
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    Thanks for the reply, Katrina. Unfortunately, I've tried tons of alternatives already and nothing works, but I'll keep looking.

  4. #4
    ICN Member
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    Have you tried Uribel, Prosed DS, or any of the other pee blue meds. These do a good job of relieving burning, spasms, and urgency, maybe better than pyridium because they have additional ingredients such as a smooth muscle relaxer. I don't know if they carry the same risks as pyridium but they seem to be prescribed to be taken daily, unlike pyridium, which as you mention limits the use to 2-3 days.
    Symptoms started Nov 2003.
    Diagnosed Nov 2004.
    In remission since Aug 2009.

    Favorite quote: "Moderation kills." ~ Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr.


  5. #5
    ICN Member
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    No, I haven't tried those drugs. My GPs haven't prescribed anything, and I haven't been to a urologist yet, since I've been dealing with cancer this past year.

    I was asking about AZO because I won't be able to see a urologist for probably another month (when chemo is over and I start to get my strength back), so I was wondering if I could take AZO daily until then.

    Fortunately the pain wasn't too bad yesterday so I had one day off.

  6. #6
    ICN Member
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    Cystex is otc and I like it better than azo... worth a shot.

  7. #7
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    Great! I'll try that. Thanks for the tip!

  8. #8
    ICN Member momw/ic's Avatar
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    Oklahoma
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    I switched to Cystex a while back because it works better for me and doesn't turn your pee orange. Another thought I had is that you may be having bladder spasms. Could you ask your GP or even oncologist to prescribe you Levsin until you get in with a uro? Levsin is a smooth muscle relaxer and really helps calm down the bladder. That may be an option that is a mild medication that could help you in the mean time.
    Live life to the fullest day to day. The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!
    _____________________________

    DX: IC - November 2002 after hysterectomy
    Interstim implanted March 2006 - died May 2011
    Interstim replacement June 2011
    Meds: Pain meds, muscle relaxer, cystex, and marcaine bladder instills as needed.
    Docs: Pain management doc, urologist, family practice

  9. #9
    ICN Member
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    Thanks, momw/ic, I'll look into that. I'm guessing they won't prescribe anything without a urologist being involved because I'm on so many other meds right now. But I'll keep it in mind to ask about.

  10. #10
    ICN Member Taramc's Avatar
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    Azo

    I take AZO sometimes and Uribel sometimes. I try not to take them unless I absolutely have to, but I'm known to use them 3-4 times a week. My urollgist tests my liver every time I see her. So sorry to hear about your cancer Hang in there!
    Exposure to an unclean hot tub 2-17-07 FIRST UTI
    (Got ringworm-like sores from it before)
    (Someone else got what looked like 'eye herpes')
    (My husband got an ear infection. We were all just sitting there!)
    SYMPTOMS: Severe Urgency/Frequency for 18 months, food sensitivity, widespread nerve pains (random and everywhere), deep bladder pain that developed into flares at 4 months. Completely unreasonable diet sensitivity.
    TESTS: Nothing showed in urine cultures, CT scan, Cystoscopy, Lumbar puncture, back and brain MRIs, EMG tests.
    Hydrodistension Surgery/Biopsy showed minor glomerulations, inflammatory and mast cells, and a rare eosinophil. Blood tests show elevated ANA.
    CONFUSED: My hands and feet started falling asleep. I got twitching nerves or muscles everywhere. I started having concentration and memory problems, vision problems, then fatigue and chronic migraines. Fibromyalgia diagnosed, SSDI disability at 4 years. IBS and esophagus spasms at 6 years.
    MEDICATIONS: Marcaine/Heparin/Sodium Bicarb instills, Lyrica, Nortriptyline, Uribel. Paxil and Trazadone from before. Painkillers as needed. Supplements include CystoProtek, DH Aloe, Colostrum.
    PREVIOUS CONDITIONS: Sudden onset of double vision, Paxil Discontinuation Syndrome

  11. #11
    ICN Member
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    Thanks, Taramac. I do get regular blood tests that measure my liver and kidney function ... because in addition to cancer, I've got HIV.

  12. #12
    ICN Member Taramc's Avatar
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    sigh

    Some people have ALL the luck :P

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