Flu season is in full force and particularly severe in North America leaving interstitial cystitis, bladder pain and prostatitis patients to wonder just what can they use to control and reduce their symptoms without aggravating their IC and bladder symptoms.  Remember that influenza is VIRAL, thus antibiotics will not help. An estimated 50,000,000 million antibiotic prescriptions are written each year that have no effect at treating viral infections and, in fact, are contributing to a dramatic rise in dangerous, resistant infections.

Here are some of the ideas, products and suggestions that IC patients have shared with us throughout the years in their quest to treat a very stuffy nose, sore throat or cough without irritating their bladders.

Struggling With A Stuffy Nose (Decongestants)

Sore Throat



  • 50% pear or apple juice, combined with 50% water. Heat and, for flavor, add a dash of cinnamon or lemon zest.
  • Hot chicken broth (organic, if possible)
  • Hot water with honey
  • Chamomile or peppermint herbal tea
  • Homemade chicken noodle soup

Call The Doctor

If your flu symptoms have become more severe (fever, chills, etc.), if your throat is very sore and you can barely swallow, you  may have developed a dangerous strep infection that should be treated immediately. Similarly, some patients may also develop painful sinus infections and/or bacterial pneumonia. When in doubt, talk with your physician!

We welcome all ideas and suggestions. Meet other patients now in the largest IC Support Group online today, the ICN Support Forum!

Created: January 2014
Updated: February 2017