Elmiron – Pentosan polysulfate

Elmiron is the only FDA approved oral medication for IC . Dr. Lowell Parsons believes that it works by providing a protective coating to the bladder wall that prevents urine, bacteria and other irritating substances from penetrating an otherwise “leaky” bladder lining and causing inflammation in the muscle tissue.

It is the most studied medication currently in use with five placebo controlled clinical trials. The results were clinically significant with 21 to 56% effectiveness. Roughly 10 to 20% of patients experienced side effects that were “generally not serious,” including gastrointestinal upset and hair loss. In some cases, your doctor may want to monitor your liver function through periodic blood tests.

Elmiron can be extremely expensive for patients who lack health insurance, in some cases costing several hundred dollars per month. Patients are encouraged to explore Drug Assistance programs to determine if they may qualify for free medication. Pentosan may have a lower efficacy in treating patients with Hunner’s Ulcers. Grade B Ask Questions In Our Elmiron Message Board