Elmiron is a drug that is approved by the FDA to treat Interstitial Cystitis. Interstitial Cystitis is a bladder disease identified by persistent pain and discomfort in and around the bladder and the frequent need to go to the bathroom, usually more than 7-8 times a day. If you have these symptoms and suspect it may be Interstitial Cystitis, contact your doctor immediately to talk about possible treatment.
Pentosan polysulfate sodium, popularly known as Elmiron, is produced by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
An Overview of Elmiron
There is a lot that isn’t known about how Elmiron works, but according to the website, it is suspected to line the bladder and stop the urine from making direct contact with the organ’s lining. Doctors are also not entirely sure of the reason for the pain caused by Interstitial Cystitis, but it is thought to be caused by damage to the mucus layer in the bladder that would protect the lining from anything harmful in the urine. Elmiron works to repair that damage.
Elmiron should be taken either within an hour before eating or within two hours after. It is usually taken 3 times a day, but you should consult your doctor to find the right dosage for your situation. It can take up to 3-6 months to see results, so you should not stop taking it if your condition persists. If 6 months have passed and you still see no change, alert your doctor. Do not take medication more than it is prescribed.
Elmiron Side Effects
The most common side effects of the drug are:
- Hair loss
Blood in the stool
Abnormal liver function tests
Elmiron is a weak blood thinner as well, so be cautious of excessive bleeding while on the medication.
One of the more serious side effects of the drug is Pigmentary Maculopathy, a degenerative eye disease that affects the macula in the eye. The macula is the central area of the retina and controls your central vision. Deterioration of this part of the eye can result in a loss of vision that can render you legally blind, though you will not entirely lose your vision.
Often, those who experience this condition have a rapid loss of vision. It is typically a result of long-term use of Elmiron. If you have a history of eye conditions in your family, alert your doctor before starting this medication. If you have been taking the medication and have not experienced symptoms of Pigmentary Maculopathy, you may want to be screened yearly for the disease as a precautionary measure.
If you experience any of these symptoms while taking the drug, notify your doctor immediately.