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Urology. 1997 May;49(5A Suppl):93-9.

Analysis of long-term Elmiron therapy for interstitial cystitis.

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  • 1Division of Urology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadephia, Pennsylvania 19140, USA.



The long-term efficacy and safety of Elmiron (oral pentosan polysulfate sodium) in relieving recurring symptoms of interstitial cystitis (IC) were investigated in a long-term, open-label physician's usage study.


Patients with diagnosed interstitial cystitis who met the study entry criteria received shipments of Elmiron for 3 months at a dose of 100 mg 3 times a day and for the consecutive 3-month periods, provided they completed and returned questionnaires about their disease symptoms, reported any adverse events, and had laboratory data collected before each new shipment. Patients were required to purchase the medication. Responses to questionnaires provided the data reported here. Several symptomatic parameters of the disease (overall improvement, overall improvement in pain and urgency, urinary frequency, and nocturia) were recorded in this way and used to evaluate efficacy.


Elmiron usage was correlated with improvements in some symptoms, and these improvements increased with duration of treatment. Some symptoms were improved within 5 months, although most continued to show improvements in both severity rating and in percentage of positive responders over 1 to 2 years. Populations of patients receiving extended treatment, some for > 90 months, showed no further improvement or worsening in symptom values. Forty-six percent of patients dropped out of the study within the first 3 months of Elmiron treatment. The frequency of adverse events was < 4%. The most notable adverse events were reversible alopecia, diarrhea, nausea, headache, and rash.


Elmiron appears to be an efficacious long-term treatment for reducing a constellation of debilitating symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis in some patients. Patients with a positive response to Elmiron appear to maintain this response over time.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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