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Is Elmiron the Best Medication for Interstitial Cystitis?

If you have been living with interstitial cystitis (IC), you understand the pain it causes and how it affects every aspect of your life. You’ve probably been looking for answers and treatments but don’t know where to turn. Maybe you are wondering: Is Elmiron the best medication for interstitial cystitis?

In this blog, we’ll examine some common treatments for interstitial cystitis and whether Elmiron is a treatment modality you should consider.

What is interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition impacting the bladder. Symptoms often include: 

  • Bladder pain
  • Bladder pressure
  • Pelvic pain
  • Urges to urinate
  • Pain during urination
  • Pain during sex

Some people experience very mild pain, while others find the symptoms of interstitial cystitis excruciating.

The condition most commonly impacts women. Though there is no cure, there are treatments available to help you deal with the symptoms.

What are common treatments for interstitial cystitis?

Everyone responds to interstitial cystitis treatments differently. Therefore, several common treatments are available.

Common treatments for interstitial cystitis include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medications**
  • Nerve stimulation
  • Bladder distention
  • Surgery
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Bladder training
  • Alternative medicine

Many people need a combination of the above treatments. Something that works for one person might not be ideal for another. 

Many people ask why a simple medication isn’t enough to treat interstitial cystitis. Fact is, medications used to treat IC sometimes cause other medical complications.

**If you’ve been prescribed Elmiron for IC, you must be informed of potential adverse effects to your vision. Continue reading or click below. 

Next, we will break down a few of the treatments in detail.

Physical therapy

Interstitial cystitis involves more than just the bladder. It also affects the pelvic floor and the muscles surrounding the bladder. Treating the muscles and soft tissue with physical therapy can help limit pain and tenderness.

Nerve stimulation

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a proven therapy for treating interstitial cystitis. 

During treatment, mild electrical pulses reduce pain and limit incontinence by increasing blood flow to the bladder and strengthening the pelvic floor.  

The TENS process is simple and noninvasive. Electrodes are placed on your back to deliver pain-free electric pulses. 

Another nerve stimulation procedure is called sacral nerve stimulation. That procedure disrupts nerve signals from the spinal cord to the bladder, reducing symptoms of incontinence.

Sacral nerve stimulation utilizes a wire positioned near the nerve instead of electrodes. Keep in mind the procedure doesn’t manage painful symptoms caused by IC. 

Lifestyle changes

Many people see a marked improvement in their interstitial cystitis symptoms by changing their lifestyle and habits.

Dietary changes

Certain foods can irritate your bladder. Eliminating these from your diet can reduce your interstitial cystitis symptoms. Make sure to speak to your physician before beginning any sort of elimination diet.

Swap out tight clothing for something looser

Tight clothing can irritate your midsection, further aggravating your interstitial cystitis symptoms. Belts that are too tight are a common culprit. 

Limit stress

Stress is a known factor in exacerbating interstitial cystitis symptoms. Stress reduction methods such as deep breathing, visualization, biofeedback, yoga, and meditation can help. 

Quit smoking

Smoking triggers interstitial cystitis symptoms and can make the pain worse. Stopping smoking offers relief and makes you healthier overall.


Low impact exercises, particularly stretching, have shown effectiveness in reducing the symptoms of interstitial cystitis.  

What medications are approved to treat the symptoms of interstitial cystitis?

The only medication approved to treat the symptoms of interstitial cystitis is Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium). Much of the way the drug works is still unknown. 

It is thought that Elmiron restores and regenerates the inner lining of the bladder, protecting it from irritation. 

Though Elmiron is approved by the FDA, recently the drug is facing lawsuits across the country, claiming that the prescription medicine is causing vision loss and damaging the retina. 

What are the side effects of Elmiron?

Elmiron was approved for treating interstitial cystitis by the FDA in 1996.  Unfortunately, over the last few years, medical professionals have uncovered links between Elmiron usage and vision loss.

Many people who have taken Elmiron are reporting serious vision-related symptoms, including:

  • Dimming vision
  • Poor reading vision
  • Poor vision in low light
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Blurred vision 

If you are currently taking Elmiron or have used it in the past, visit a doctor immediately to screen for vision problems. 

If I’ve taken Elmiron, can I file a lawsuit?

Yes. Law firms across the country are in the process of filing lawsuits against Elmiron’s producer Janssen Pharmaceuticals and parent company Johnson & Johnson. If you’ve been injured by this drug’s dangerous side effects, don’t wait to reach out for legal help. 

Do I need an Elmiron attorney?

Yes. A law firm experienced in standing up to pharmaceutical companies is essential for receiving maximum financial compensations for your injuries.

For questions about Elmiron lawsuits, team with Kirkendall Dwyer LLP. We offer people injured by Elmiron superior results via personalized and caring services. 

Injuries caused by Elmiron can impact your life and the lives of your family. Our lawyers are here to help you navigate the legal system.

Our law firm understands the dangers of Elmiron. That is why we offer free consultations regarding this unsafe pharmaceutical. 

The team at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP believes that anyone impacted by Elmiron deserves to get answers and financial compensation right away.   

Please contact us to begin the process of recovery today. 

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