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Facts About Elmiron

Updated February 21, 2017

Pentosan polysulfate sodium, marketed as Elmiron, is a symptom reliever of interstitial cystitis. It is a blood thinner, so exactly how Elmiron treats bladder pain is unknown. As an investigational drug, Elmiron was evaluated in clinical trials in a total of 2,627 patients proving its efficacy in relieving bladder pain and discomfort with prolonged use.

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Treatable Symptoms

Elmiron is prescribed to treat symptoms of interstitial cystitis which include clinically inexplicable pain or pressure in the urethra, vagina, penis, testes, lower abdomen, inner thighs, groin, and/or the region above the pubic bone. Elmiron also alleviates urges to urinate while the bladder is empty, pain during or after coitus, frequent or painful urination, and frequent nocturia.


Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recommends that Elmiron be dosed at one 100 mg capsules taken three times per day consecutively for up to three years. Taking more than the recommended dosage may increase bleeding times.


Elmiron should be taken orally with water at least one hour before meals or two hours after meals. Noticeable bladder pain improvement can occur anywhere from four weeks to three months after the first administered dose.


Elmiron is contraindicated in patients already taking blood thinners, on aspirin prophylactic therapy, or regular high doses of Ibuprofen. It is also contraindicated in pregnant women and people with compromised livers.

Adverse Reactions

Adverse events reported during and after clinical trials included the following: insomnia, headache, depression, dizziness, hyperkinesia, nausea, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, jaundice, vomiting, skin rash, pruritis, lacrimation, rhinitis, increased sweating, amenorrhoea, arthralgia, vaginitis, and rectal haemorrhage.

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About the Author

Sarah McLeod

Sarah McLeod began writing professionally for the federal government In 1999. In 2002 she was trained by Georgetown University's Oncology Chief to abstract medical records and has since contributed to Phase I through Phase IV research around the country. McLeod holds a Bachelor of Arts in human services from George Washington University and a Master of Science in health science from Touro University.

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