Is There an Alternative to Elmiron?

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January 8, 2024

Product Liability

With Elmiron lawsuits making headlines across the country, people suffering from interstitial cystitis are looking for alternative ways to treat their symptoms. The 12 million people who may be suffering from interstitial cystitis may find relief from other medications, therapies and surgery.

The Maderal Byrne & Furst PLLC Elmiron lawsuit attorneys discuss alternatives to the drug.

Why Are People Seeking Alternatives to Elmiron?

People are seeking alternatives to Elmiron because of the risk of macular degeneration. The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that the drug can damage the retina and that late-stage toxicity may cause permanent vision loss.

Finding an alternative to Elmiron

Any course of treatment should be decided through consultation with qualified medical professionals. The information here isn’t legal or medical advice.

Alternatives to Elmiron

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs include ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. These drugs reduce pain. Common brand names for NSAIDs include Advil, Motrin, Aleve and Bayer. Pain relief drugs may be distributed by prescription or available over the counter.

Reduced pain may lessen the symptoms of interstitial cystitis. Dose and duration should be directed by a qualified physician.

Tofranil (imipramine), amitriptyline, nortriptyline

These tricyclic antidepressants may reduce pain in the bladder. They increase the natural substances that the brain relies on for chemical balance. There may be unwanted side effects, including weight gain. However, the drugs are usually prescribed in lower doses when used to treat interstitial cystitis, so side effects may be mild.

A person may take a tricyclic antidepressant drug more than once a day, with the dose increasing over time. It may take several weeks for a patient to feel the full effects of the drug. It’s important to check for medicine interactions, including over-the-counter medicines, before beginning use. Tricyclic antidepressants are not recommended as an alternative to Elmiron in people with a history of heart attack and other certain health conditions.


With research indicating that histamine may be a contributing factor to interstitial cystitis, antihistamines may be helpful. Claritin (loratadine) works to block allergic symptoms caused by histamines in the body. It may reduce the urge to urinate and relieve discomfort.

Bladder stretching, hydrodistension

A medical procedure can stretch the bladder walls. Stretching may improve capacity and reduce the need to urinate. Treatment may involve a sterile liquid like dimethyl sulfoxide or a solution that includes steroids and a topical anesthetic. Bladder stretching is a medical procedure that comes with the risk of rupture. Symptom relief may not occur, or the relief experienced may be temporary.

Nerve stimulation

Nerve stimulation may strengthen muscles to help control symptoms. With stronger muscles, a person may have improved control of the pelvic region and reduced pain. Nerve stimulation may be completed with electrical impulses designed to strengthen the muscles in the pelvic region.

Physical therapy

Stretching, walking and relaxation can lengthen the pelvic floor and help relieve symptoms of interstitial cystitis.

Dietary and lifestyle changes

Appropriate lifestyle changes may include cessation of alcohol use and cigarettes. A person may have reduced symptoms by limiting caffeine, artificial sweeteners and spicy or acidic foods. Reducing stress may help.

The right alternative to Elmiron depends on several factors. The right medical care is specific to your situation, your needs and your wishes. Seek medical attention from a qualified professional.

Treating interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis causes bladder pain and discomfort. Someone with this condition may feel the frequent urge to urinate. Researchers believe that histamine production may cause symptoms of interstitial cystitis.

Histamines are a chemical found in the body. They may help the body remove and manage allergens. Histamines may cause an allergic reaction and anaphylactic response. They may also be responsible for causing pain, discomfort and a frequent urge to urinate in a person with interstitial cystitis.

Did They Take Elmiron Off the Market?

Despite concerning reports about the potential for eye damage, Elmiron, or pentosan polysulfate sodium, remains on the market. The FDA’s prescribing information discusses two clinical trials in patients regarding chronic interstitial cystitis. FDA warnings for the drug include changes in the retina, including pigmentary maculopathy. Warnings say that cumulative dose may be a factor in eye damage relating to Elmiron use.

Talk to a lawyer

With Maderal Byrne & Furst partner Francisco R. Maderal serving on the plaintiff’s steering committee in Elmiron products liability litigation, our law firm understands the risks of eye problems for those using Elmiron for bladder discomfort. Victims are taking legal action.

We are currently representing people who have suffered the harmful effects of medication. If you have taken Elmiron, we invite you to contact us to discuss your situation. Victims may qualify for financial compensation.

We value the time we talk with prospective clients. We invite you to contact us to learn about your legal rights and options. Call (305) 520-5690 or message us today to talk about your case.

Get In Touch

(305) 520-5690

Get in touch with Maderal Byrne & Furst PLLC by calling or using the form below:

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Get In Touch

(305) 520-5690

Get in touch with Maderal Byrne & Furst PLLC by calling or using the form below:

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.