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Tablets for Bladder Pain / Interstitial Cystitis

Amitriptyline

Although Amitriptyline is an antidepressant it is also used for a variety of other conditions. It works by blocking the transmission of pain signals by nerves in the spinal cord and brain. Nortriptyline and Imipramine are commonly used alternatives that work in a similar way. Around 75% of patients notice an improvement in their symptoms with this treatment.

Side effects include increased dry mouth, blurred vision and drowsiness.

Elmiron (Pentosan Polysulphate)

Elmiron® is an oral medication which is absorbed and then excreted in the urine. It works by helping to replenish the natural protective coating of the bladder (the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) layer), which is deficient in many patients with BPS / interstitial cystitis. This process can take several weeks to work. Most patients notice an improvement after about four weeks, but longer courses may be required.

Elmiron® can cause loose motions. It may cause the blood to clot less well, which may be important for those undergoing major surgery.

Elmiron® is only available on a named-patient basis in the U.K. which means that it can only be prescribed for selected patients by a specialist.

Anticholinergics

These medicines are available in a variety of brands, including oxybutynin, tolterodine, fesoterodine, trospium chloride, darifenacin, and solifenacin. They work by relaxing the bladder muscle and making it less sensitive, which can increase the bladder capacity.

These medicines may help you to control your bladder symptoms. Side-effects are not uncommon, but are usually minor and tolerable. The most common are dry mouth, dry eyes, constipation or blurred vision. Some patients find the first drug they try does not suit them, either due to side-effects, or because if doesn�t work very well. If this happens, don't worry: The medicines all have differences, and you may find that if one medicine causes troublesome side-effects, a switch to a different one may suit you better.